I met up with an old friend yesterday, the only person I’m in touch with since my schooldays. We went to a private school, the kind people send their kids to in order to provide them with the vital networking opportunities that will set them up for life. My friend works as a personal bodyguard for rich and famous people, and before that he was a mercenary. If somebody is threatening you and you want them duffed up, he’s the man to call. A handy chap to know by all accounts, but possibly not the sort of contact the parents of Tarquin and Jeremy have in mind when they fork out £30k per year each. He was a good friend to me though, and still is.
As we were chatting about our time in school he mentioned one of the teachers had been jailed for child abuse. This didn’t surprise me in the least. Although he was convicted for crimes he committed in schools prior to joining ours, there were always rumours surrounding him and he exhibited odd behaviour. There was some substance to the rumours too, because just before I left he was swiftly but quietly removed from his post for inappropriate conduct with a boy, who complained to his parents. The only detail we got was that he locked himself in a room with the boy, what else happened I don’t know, but when I read the news reports of his conviction this locking of the door was mentioned as being a modus operandi of his.
About a year before this incident we were all surprised when he married the mother of a classmate of ours, who also had a younger brother at the school. We knew the mother because she was somewhat of a MILF, and us rabble of teenage boys would make lewd remarks when she came to pick up her sons at the end of term. I didn’t know the younger son, but the older one was in most of my classes. Like a lot of the boys there he seemed a bit lost and unsure of himself, but he was a good kid. We ribbed him mercilessly when this teacher, who everyone joked was a pervert, married his mother and moved in with them but I was just mature enough to wonder if this wasn’t a little sinister. I remember one of the sensible teachers remarking that this was not a good move and the older boy should get himself out of there ASAP. Yesterday my mate told me the news reports said he targetted boys who were blonde, slim, and athletic, which I confirmed when I read them myself. That easily fits the description of the two boys whom he stepfathered, aged around 14 and 17. A few years later I heard the older lad had gone straight off to university and seemed to be doing all right. I have no idea about the younger brother.
What I remember about the teacher’s dismissal was that he was “asked to leave” rather than sacked and reported. This was probably to protect the reputation of the school. Several years before there was an incident in a comprehensive school my brothers and sisters went to, where a male teacher formed a relationship with a girl around 13 or 14 years old. He too was shuffled off quietly, allowing him to take a post in another school a few hundred miles away. A family friend who’d been in teaching for years said this was common, because nobody wants to own up to having employed a sex pest and enabled them to prey on pupils under their watch. I don’t know if the teacher from my school got another job, but the news reports described him as a “former teacher”. The assaults took place in the late 1980s but the first victim only came forward in 2013. That’s a big gap.
Earlier this month I spent a week on holiday with a university friend, who currently works as a teacher. I asked her what would happen now if somebody was caught abusing children in their care. She said they’d be run out of town on a rail, their name added to the sex offenders register, and they’d never be allowed to work with children again. I hope that is true.