My highschool teacher successfully groomed my friend into drugs and sex

Why does she call him by his first name? No one else at school calls him by his first name…

I could tell she had a thing for my teacher. Boy is she going to wish she’d taken it seriously when I asked her out after he knocks her back. I boasted to myself through my jealousy. She’s going to make an idiot out of herself here, he’s a teacher, she’s a student, of course he won’t be interested. He’s in his 40s!

Turns out she was no idiot. I. Was the idiot.

She was 14 and in grade 10. I was 15 and a grade above. We’d known each other since we were 7 years old and in second grade. We were “girlfriend and boyfriend” on and off the whole way through primary school before losing touch with each other when I moved to high school a year before her. We lived across the (waterless) creek from each other. She was incredibly fun, I was always getting into trouble because she’d have me laughing hysterically at the most inappropriate times. I always found it confusing as to how she became such a creative, outgoing and hilarious person. As kids her house was always a little awkward to be around, because her family were european and her dad was always stern and dismissive with her. I never once heard him speak in english (it was 1994, so i’d never been to another kids house that didn’t have english speaking parents). But the vibe I got (which could be totally wrong for all I really know) was that he didn’t really have much time for her. Her mum was wonderful though.

I’d kind of forgotten about her until she graduated into the senior area of our high school. I was totally smitten by her and I had to tell her! She invited me to her place to hang out. That’s when she told me that she had a 31 year old boyfriend from overseas she’d met in an online chat room. I thought it was weird of course but I had absolutely no sense that this was a dangerous situation. She told me that her parents were really pissed about this relationship she’d been having online and that she was mad at them in return for not understanding it and for not allowing them to meet in person. All I could think about was how much this screwed up my chances of us dating again, because she liked older guys.

That’s when she started referring to one of our teachers by his first name. She said that our teacher was really understanding and that he’s great to talk to. He must have met her dad I remember thinking. What an awesome teacher he must be to give her his private e-mail address and to counsel her like her actual father probably doesn’t. Eventually I got frustrated with the inadequacy of my age not being appealing to her and stopped pursuing her.

She’s crazy if she thinks adult men are going to go out with her. 

Yeah. “Crazy”.

He was everyone’s favourite teacher. Undisputedly. He wasn’t like all of the other teachers. He was in touch with us. He knew how to talk to us and he knew how to engage with us. Year after year students would love his classes. He was motivated, dedicated and in touch! Who wouldn’t feel special to have extra access to the guy outside of school?! Every single. parent. teacher. and. student. LOVED. this. man.

By the time i’d gotten to year 12 I had completely forgotten about my crush on her, her ‘weird’ attraction to older men and her ‘privileged’ relationship to the ‘student favourite’ teacher of our school.

“They’re together, didn’t you know? They have been for ages!” Bragged a mutual friend of she and I.

I didn’t believe it. What bullshit. So I thought fuck it, I’ll ask her. Then it was very real. She was so proud of it. That was when I learned about the drugs he gave her, how he’d dress her up in nurses outfits, about how they’d have sex at school, about all of the close calls between them and other school staff nearly busting them, about how another of the schools most popular teachers and close friend of his also knew about this relationship, about how he simply viewed this relationship with a grade 11 student as a “bad idea”. I thought it was all her fault. I thought she’d forced him into it, that she was messing up HIS life. I saw her fading away into a permanent haze of pills and coke that he bankrolled. Everyone just accepted the fact that they would fuck each other between the walls of a construction area in our school. That when the principle would come into his room after school for a chat, completely unaware that she was on her knees under the very table they talked across.

The relationship continued after she left school as we all watched the drug use go up at the same rate that her mental stability appeared to go down. I was living with friends, my housemate’s girlfriend was part of her social circle still and we lived at “the party pad”. That was when I saw a very different version of our teacher than the one we’d all known. The two of them would break up, get back together, break up, get back together. I remember it was new year’s eve at our party pad and it just so happened to fall during one of their separated phases. I don’t really know why, but she invited me to listen in on a jealous rant of his over the phone that night…

…that was when I finally heard it. The manipulation, the way he spoke to her like a disappointed father because she was partying with people her own fucking age…

‘well, i guess this does say a lot, if you’d rather be there with people like that, I hope you are happy with that, I guess I just thought perhaps…’sigh’… that you were more mature than that’.

It wasn’t much later in the new year that she took refuge at our place during the next break-up, that he beat the absolute shit out of her car in our drive-way. Full ‘Wolf of Wallstreet’ mode in some kind of a coke-binge-tornado of passionate fury.

I randomly saw her maybe a year or so after while I was working in a tobacconist. She was in a slightly manic panic telling me about how she’d just stolen about 10 grand from his personal safe and was moving to Melbourne to become a professional skater. Next time I saw her was in my early 20’s. I tried to talk to her but she barely knew who I was let alone where she was.

And I judged HER. I didn’t know shit. I thought all of this was the product of her own poor decision making and that it was really sad to see someone i’d known most of my life become a shell of themselves because of their ‘mistakes’.

Turns out i’d later get married to a victim of childhood sexual abuse. And because of her journey and courage, had my eyes opened to just how cunning and masterful predators like child abusers can be.

I was there when I saw her not get the attention from her father she probably needed, I was there when she started to seek out the attention of older men and I was there when she unknowingly played directly into the hands of an opportunistic piece of shit who destroyed her fucking mind, body and life.

But not once in my life did I get told by anyone how an appropriate relationship between a child and an adult should look. Not one teacher, parent or sibling discussed it. I had absolutely no idea what was happening right in front of my face. But they didn’t know any better then and neither did I!

We all knew. Other teachers knew. Other parents knew. Eventually someone made a complaint to the school, but she was no longer a student then. The school politely asked him to resign (a credit to all of the great work he had done there since the place opened). Where was his next job…? A girls only high school.

As far as I’m aware he was last known to be teaching in a rural area to indigenous Australians. And I have zero. ZERO doubt…

… he’s the most popular teacher there.

 

 

I’m not safe on stage next to a girl.

I’ve been a musician for most of my life. At the age of 21 I became a professional and full-time performer, I got to travel overseas to the Middle East and back multiple times for 7 years, I performed in front of Osama bin Laden’s brother, on secret RAF and U.S. Navy bases in the UAE and Oman, surrounded by alcohol, surrounded by different nationalities, religions, ideologies, I performed in the nice parts of town and the rough parts of town. Never in the 10 years that this has been my life have I ever felt as though I was in danger. Not. Once.

That was before. Before I accidentally made the mistake of performing in a duo with an attractive, 19-year-old girl.

Not on a secret military base. Not to the sibling of a now assassinated terrorist. Not even in the bad part of town. It doesn’t matter where we go, it doesn’t matter what we do. Performing with a 19 year old girl in my home city of Adelaide, Australia is the most unsettled i’ve ever had to feel on stage. In my life!

For some reason, men of all ages want to touch her, cat-call her, grab at her, pick her up and run out of the fucking bar with her and (wait for it, because this one’s my favourite) at our previous gig this past weekend decided to sit 20 feet away from us mid-song and rub his penis (for her entertainment of course) for 45-fucking-minutes. Now I’m not one to judge by appearances, but this lovely fella looked like he’d just fallen out the back of a paddy-wagon (which is fine, people can look how they want!) and it’s pretty safe to say the second you sexually assault my singer (in the presence of her FATHER) it would appear the contents of said book matches the cover to a T. Right?

“She’s the one being sexually harassed, how does that make you unsafe?”

How? Because she’s 19 and I’m a 31 year old male and i’m 6 feet tall. 9 times out of 10 we’re performing an hour away from home, it’s midnight when we pack up and if ANYTHING is going to happen to her, i’m the only person there to defend her. And I would any day of the week. But i’m one guy vs a sea of generic wife-beater wearing bar flies and their mates. We have to coordinate leaving together, I’m always looking over my shoulder for the guy I had to ask not to use our gear for “karaoke” during a set-break, I mean fuck! In this part of the world you don’t even have to do anything wrong to wind up on the floor after you’ve been punched in the back of the head by an unprovoked stranger. So what odds am I playing at working with the 19 year old that (rightfully) told some dick-head to get fucked after he LITERALLY strokes his penis AT her?!

The cops do get called at times. But chances are they already know the guy pretty well. “Come on, mate, that’s not o…. oh, please, stop urinating on the bar” as we make our way out the back.

I get it. It’s not about me. It’s about her and all of the other ‘hers’ around the world who have to consider what they should or shouldn’t wear on stage whilst singing soul music! My duo partner hardly shows up in fishnets and a duct-tape bra singing about her vagina (and so what if she did, still not an invitation). We’re playing 60’s and 70’s top 40 and she’s in a full-length dress. Which to me, hardly says “Can I see your penis please, guy with no shoes on?” She can’t get through one song without having to wonder if she should or should not smile at passers by, what if she sends the wrong signal, I mean it’s not like we’re meant to be entertaining or anything…

Is this stuff getting worse? I feel like it is. Is it because we’ve got a “pussy grab’n” president in the world now? Or was he merely elected by a wave of misogyny that broke before him? I don’t know. I don’t care. It’s not an episode of ‘Popeye’, fellas. So please…

…put your dick away and when she tells you to fuck off? Don’t think you’re in one of those ‘P.S. I Love You’ “she wants it but she’s just not showing it yet” moments. You’re embarrassing yourself and you should be extinct.

-Yours sincerely, the Punching Bag sitting next to her.