This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.
He wore a green polyester tracksuit every time he did a day’s relief teaching.
The zipped-up jacket stretched across his big belly- the kids at school likened him to the guy in the beer ad who sang ‘Belt your beer back, you’re with your mates’.
I don’t remember his name. I do remember the way he would sidle up behind me and press his body against me. More than once.
Watch: Women and Violence: The Hidden Numbers. Post continues below.
I was a 22-year-old PE teacher and I guess he thought I was fair game. I went to the Deputy Principal and complained about this man’s behaviour, only to be told, “You should be flattered!” It was 1981 and I felt sickened by his response.
Flash back a year to 1980.
I’m 21 and in my very first year of teaching, a long way from home, and on the steep learning curve that every newbie teacher has to climb. I’m enjoying the independence of leaving home, and working at a school which forced me to live outside the cosy bubble I had existed in until then.
Many of our students lived in government housing and had very little. Others lived in the big houses on the hill and wanted for nothing. I can’t recall who lived where, and for the most part I got on with the kids, some of whom weren’t much younger than me.
For a few of the young, male teaching staff, some of whom were married, I was fresh meat.
They would visit the small PE Staff room at lunchtime and share ‘banter’ - how I hate that word- with the male PE teachers.