A teacher at a Catholic school in Edmonton, Canada, has been charged with sexual assault which involved one of her students in 2016.
Alyssa Tungul, a 29-year-old former teacher at H.E. Beriault Catholic Junior High in west Edmonton, is facing one count each of sex assault, sexual counsel of a child under the age of 16 years and having sexual contact with a child.
Although Tungul was charged in May, information about the case was kept under wraps upon a “deliberate decision” made by Edmonton police and the Edmonton Catholic school board, CBC reports.
The sexual act, which involved one male student, allegedly happened between June 1, 2016, and Nov. 30, 2016, court documents revealed.
When the authorities began investigating on Nov. 26, 2018, Tungul had already moved to the new Bishop David Motiuk Elementary/Junior High School, also in west Edmonton. There, she taught Grade 8 and music.
According to Edmonton Catholic Schools spokesperson Lori Nagy, as soon as they were notified about the investigation in December 2018, Tungul was suspended with pay. She was to be kept on suspension until the investigation concluded.
Tungul made her first court appearance last month and is set to appear in court again on Wednesday.
The decision of the Catholic board and the police to not issue a statement earned criticisms from advocates.
Psychologist Wanda Polzin, clinical director at Little Warriors, a charity dedicated to helping child survivors of sexual abuse, noted how important it is for the public to be aware of “potential offenders.”
“My belief and understanding is that people who are put in positions of power — who are being able to have easy access to children within the community — often do have offending behaviors not just with one child, but others as well,” Dr. Polzin, was quoted as saying.
Featured Image via CTV news (Left), Facebook / AlyssaTungul (Right)