The Daily Q

Former Qatar Academy teacher arrested for soliciting sex with minor

Sarah Shaath, Staff Reporter

Former Qatar Academy Doha teacher William Ball was suspended from an international school in Dubai after he was arrested in the United States on Feb. 15 for attempting to solicit sex with a seven-year-old child, according to the Khaleej Times.

William Ball traveled from Dubai to Florida to meet the child, according to the newspaper.

Qatar Foundation press officials said they are “shocked” to hear the allegations made against the former music teacher who worked at Qatar Academy Doha from August 2011 to July 2016.

Ball was employed at the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai at the time of his arrest.

Students who were taught by Ball say they are also shocked by their former teacher’s arrest.

“I am just so disgusted,” said Dana Mahmoud, a sophomore at Northwestern University in Qatar, who was taught by Ball at Qatar Academy Doha in the ninth grade.

No concerns about his conduct towards children were raised during his employment at Qatar Academy Doha, according to the QF Press Office in an email statement.

“Honestly, it was a startling discovery,” said Amin Ahmed, a senior at NU-Q, who was also taught by Ball. “He seemed like an everyday person, which is what struck me most. I guess that goes to show you it could be anyone and no one’s safe.”

Ball was captured after using the internet and a cell phone to set up the meeting with the minor in Florida, according to a report by WVNS-TV. It added that the prosecutor for Ball’s hearing said the teacher had “items for a child, condoms and lubricant” in his possession.

Qatar Academy Doha is “committed to safeguarding and protecting the welfare of children,” according to the QF Press Office.

“We have robust child protection arrangements in place and follow Safer Recruitment protocol when appointing staff, all of whom are carefully screened,” said the press office. It added that Ball underwent the appropriate background checks prior to his appointment.

The Qatar Academy Doha administration recognizes the severe allegations against its former employee and is willing to offer whatever support is needed to parents, students and staff, according to the email statement.

“There’s no place in society for people like that,” said Abdulaziz Al-Mana, a 17-year-old Qatar Academy Doha student. “Especially in schools, where students should feel safe.”

Correction: 

An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that QF did not provide the dates of Ball’s employment at QAD despite The Daily Q’s requests. The article has been updated to clarify that QF provided the information in its email statement. Ball was employed at QAD from 2011 to 2016.

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