An investigation into sexual misconduct by a teacher, after it emerged she had slept with a student, found at least five pupils were targeted.
Fiona Viotti, 32, allegedly had sexual relationships with the boys at Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town, South Africa, between 2013 and 2019.
The private school appointed lawyers to investigate the teacher after an 18-year-old student claimed he had been involved in an ‘intense’ sexual relationship with her, saying she became controlling when he tried to end things with her.
The subsequent investigation found that, while the school had no knowledge of Viotti’s actions, the boy who came forward was just one of at least five students targeted by the teacher.
The former history teacher and water polo coach, who is married, quit amid the scandal on October 11. In a statement released earlier today, December 2, the school said because she resigned, no disciplinary action would be taken against her.
However, the school committed to working with authorities, stating, as per Eyewitness News:
The investigators have informed the school of their duty to report to the appropriate authorities. The school is cooperating with the authorities in this regard.
The school has also made the parents of the affected boys aware of their rights and responsibilities in this matter.
Investigators advocate Francois van Zyl and attorney Graeme Dorrington emphasised their findings were based on information obtained during interviews, and found that the teacher acted in breach of the Bishops Code of Professional Conduct for Teaching Staff.
They also found she breached the Code of Professional Ethics issued by the South African Council of Educators, while they carried out a review of current policies in place at the college concerning teacher and pupil interaction.
The investigators discovered that Bishops Diocesan College does have the necessary policies and procedures in place to address matters of sexual misconduct and that it has taken all reasonable steps in this regard.
However, the investigation could not determine who Viotti allegedly sent photographs and videos of herself to, which were of a sexual nature and later circulated on social media.
After her resignation, Viotti was reportedly admitted to a psychiatric clinic and later discharged. The 32-year-old’s lawyer, William Booth, today told News24 she isn’t currently in a clinic but is ‘receiving outpatient treatment’.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30). Alternatively you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111.
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on its website or on its helpline – 0808 800 5005.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).