We are a group of survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by school teachers.
This abuse has impacted us in terrible and life-altering ways.
After discovering how similar our experiences were despite being victimized by different teachers in different schools, different provinces, and different decades, we realized how similar and endemic sexual abuse by schoolteachers is. We also realized how poorly understood and managed the issue is by the institutions charged with protecting students, and administering consequences.
As children, we had no voice and no power. As adult survivors, we feel we must speak out on behalf of current students. We have done our homework and examined current administrative policies and structures. Little has changed since we were children.
This means that students are not safe in their schools, and they will remain in danger until significant changes are made.
Now I no longer minimize what you did to me so I can cope, I am stronger, successful in my career, with an amazing and supportive family. I’ve chosen not to keep your secret anymore.
I am sharing my story because I want the public and policy makers to understand how deeply damaging teacher-on-student sexual exploitation can be. My high school music teacher sexually exploited me in the 1970s.
For years I wouldn’t even let myself be loved and I couldn’t really trust a man further than I could chuck a piano.
He told me what friends I needed to get rid of and was curious what boys I was interested in. I have a memory of going to his house, as he used to drive me home from school, but other than recalling sitting on a bed, the memory is gone. I cannot even begin to imagine what occurred.
Just because I didn’t remember does not mean it didn’t break me in ways too complicated to detail here. The details are hazy; however, the pain is sharp.
With his predatory instincts finely tuned, he was able to manipulate other adults into ignoring what was really happening to me and others.