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Sex abuse victim 'stalked teacher'

(47 Posts)
Inkanta Wed 14-Jan-15 19:34:40

'Stuart Kerner, 44, from Kent, conducted an affair with the girl, then 15, at Bexleyheath Academy, south-east London.Handing Kerner a suspended sentence, Judge Joanna Greenberg QC said the victim had become "obsessed" with him.'

The judge is an idiot!

OwlBeGoing Wed 14-Jan-15 19:40:31

Just because she "stalked" him doesn't mean he had to sleep with her surely? hmm

Seriouslyffs Wed 14-Jan-15 19:44:35

I saw this and was shocked. I hope there'll be an investigation and the judge suspended at least.

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 14-Jan-15 20:09:08

I can't see past that he had a duty of care, he should be in prison.

GlitzAndGigglesx Wed 14-Jan-15 20:12:23

I'm glad people like him get called out. Does the judge really believe a 44yo isn't capable of saying "no this is wrong it stops now" ffs hmm

Mintyy Wed 14-Jan-15 20:14:35

Yes. Disgusting! So hard to believe that it still goes on shock.

And, from a female judge too!?

Lost for words, I really am.

Seriouslyffs Wed 14-Jan-15 20:24:56

When I taught, almost 20 years ago, the prevailing culture was overwhelmingly 'no way never'; the duty of care to the pupils informed everything that happened. If anything the culture in schools is even more children first- there is absolutely no excuse, no defence for this.

BuzzardBird Wed 14-Jan-15 20:26:49

When I was at school a few teachers were having relationships with pupils...some went on to marry. No-one batted an eyelid.

LurcioAgain Wed 14-Jan-15 20:53:44

In retrospect, Buzzard, do you think that was acceptable?

I can't see any circumstances in which it would be acceptable for a 44 year old to seduce his 15 year old student (she was 15 when he first started approaching her)? His carried away on the spur of the moment appears to have involved going into school equipped with condoms. Vile, vile man, and absolutely shameful summing up on the part of the judge.

FWIW I went to school in the 70s/80s and this would not have been considered acceptable by the teachers at my school. There were cases of what as an adult I realise were grooming and serious overstepping of boundaries in the music I did outside of school - and even if I didn't have the vocabulary to describe it back then, I knew the men were creepy, and predatory and in the wrong.

Seriouslyffs Wed 14-Jan-15 20:56:01

When was that Buzzard? There was a massive change in the late 80s. When I left secondary school in 1985 there were several gropey male teachers and a friend of mine was in a relationship with a teacher she later married. When I qualified as a teacher and started teaching 10 years later there was no way any inappropriate behaviour would have been condoned or not noticed and there would have been very severe consequences for the teacher. This case involved a man very much of my generation. Pupil/ teacher relationships would have been utterly condemned throughout his training and career.

BuzzardBird Wed 14-Jan-15 21:12:01

In retrospect, Buzzard, do you think that was acceptable?

Absolutely and utterly not, but I was a kid, what did I know?

I left school in 86 Seriously, I realise it was rife at the time and scorned on not long after (I hope). It was still going on when my sister went through the same school 4 years after me. When we get together and talk about it, there were some shocking things going on. Really awful. I wonder if these teachers will ever be made to pay?

Berts Wed 14-Jan-15 21:23:40

I already posted this on the same subject in AIBU but, tbh, I'm feeling massively triggered by the news coverage and am obsessing on the message boards!

Having been on both sides of the coin (I had a 'relationship' with a teacher that began when I was 15; I now teach teenagers and young adults), it's not that hard to maintain a professional distance. Ive had students hit on me or behave inappropriately and you just kindly and firmly make crystal clear what is and isn't appropriate/acceptable. That defuses it quite quickly.

Unless, of course, you are an emotionally immature prick.

SoMuchForSubtlety Wed 14-Jan-15 21:32:29

It's horrendous victim blaming for the judge to say that the girl's behaviour could and did induce a grown man to ignore everything he knows about safeguarding and acting appropriately in a position of responsibility.

FGS. It's not the bloody 1950s. Men do not have "needs" that they can't control. Women are not the "gatekeepers" of sexual relationships.

timtam23 Wed 14-Jan-15 22:40:18

I haven't read the AIBU thread so may be repeating old news, but the Attorney General has received complaints about the sentence (including one from me) and is considering whether to review it as unduly lenient

Slothlorian Wed 14-Jan-15 22:42:30

Well said Berts.

LeonardWentToTheOffice Wed 14-Jan-15 22:49:20

I think I heard on the news that they claim that she 'groomed' him.

VikingVolva Wed 14-Jan-15 23:23:45

I've seen an article in which it says the judge was quoting the words given in evidence by friends who witnessed it when using the term 'stalked'. Does anyone know if that is the case?

I haven't seen enough if the actual testimony to know if it is a reasonable reflection of what was said in evidence, or if the reporting of the judges remarks was fair (How long were the remarks in total? Was this a major theme? We're other quotations from the evidence also used?)

The use of the term 'grooming' was not sourced to specific evidence, as far as I can make out. Anyone know?

HelenPat79 Thu 15-Jan-15 07:38:08

Delurking here so firstly hello :-) and while in no way supporting this man who sounds like an immature mess, I don't think it's completely black and white. A lot of it went on at my school in the late 90s, including an affair of my own. Some of the teachers were sleazy predatory scumbags, one in particular, the PE teacher, had a string of "relationships" with girls in the sixth form who he would start pursuing as soon as they turned 16 and when I say "as soon as" I mean literally. I was friends with one of the girls and she said he told her he looked up her birthday in the school records so that he knew when he could legally ask her out (ew). I've lost touch with her but a few years after school we were reminiscing and she said she felt a bit sick thinking back on it.

In my own case though he was a lovely guy. He didn't pursue me, I pursued him. He was a chemistry supply teacher, quite young and being a bit geeky he wasn't very worldy or confident. In fact he was a bit shy and quite scared of us, like a lot of the less experienced teachers were! I fancied him and hung around his lab after lessons offering to help clear up the equipment. The more we talked the more we liked each other. He'd just moved to the area, hadn't made many friends yet, felt intimidated by both the pupils and the other teachers, and his Mum had just passed away, so despite our ages and his job I can honestly say I was the more confident one and he was the more vulnerable one. I'm sure he was flattered by me flirting with him but it wasn't just that, we got on really well and talked about all sorts. Ok I'm probably going to get slated for this but here goes, I enjoyed the sex too, I felt really comfortable being with him and I don't regret the relationship even now. Honestly I can't think how it did me any kind of damage, if anything I think it raised my self-respect and my standards of what I expected from relationships in general from then on.

Of course the difference is he was not a 44-year-old married man who took my virginity in a cupboard, which all sounds pretty sordid. But still, and like I said without condoning Kerner, isn't it reasonable for the judge to take his mental state into account as well as the fact that he didn't initiate things? Not all situations are the same. Actually one of the other teachers at my school, also a nice guy, had a relationship with a girl in the year above me which we all knew about and started when she was about 15, carried on through GCSEs and sixth form, she went on to uni to become a doctor and as soon as she qualified they got married and now more than 10 years later they're still married, apparently very happily. It's not always clear cut.

SoMuchForSubtlety Thu 15-Jan-15 08:17:09

It doesn't matter whether she wanted to have a relationship and actively pursued him. She was sixteen. He was her teacher.

There is a reason for stricter rules and higher standards for people in positions of power over minors - teenagers are a mess of hormones and tend not to make sensible decisions, so the adults in the situation need to be held to account. And the reality is that given the situation it could not possibly have been a legitimately consensual relationship - the power imbalance and the age difference and her age makes it impossible.

I don't care if he was fragile because of his wife's miscarriage, and I don't care if she seemed keen; there is no valid excuse to have sex with a 16 year old you're supposed to be responsible for protecting. Ever.

SoMuchForSubtlety Thu 15-Jan-15 08:19:11

And just because it worked out ok in one or two cases doesn't make it acceptable. You can't have a rule that says "no sex between teachers and pupils, oh but if you really love each other it's ok". That's just a blank cheque for abusers and pedophiles to use as their excuse.

BuzzardBird Thu 15-Jan-15 10:14:09

Exactly Subtlety Teachers should be like doctors, you should be able to trust them with your daughter. And sometimes you can't.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Thu 15-Jan-15 10:18:20

It doesnt matter that a pupil pursued a teacher!

I had a crush on a teacher for god sake at 15, teacher should all know it can happen!

They are the ones who say no and go to heads with it and ask what to do ...make people aware.

The last thing you do is sleep with the pupil.

As lady on radio 4 said this am - if this man is soooo emotionally weak and fragile, why the hell he is working?

so wrong and utterly shocking.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Thu 15-Jan-15 10:19:53

ike I said without condoning Kerner, isn't it reasonable for the judge to take his mental state into account as well as the fact that he didn't initiate things?


He shouldnt be at work if he cant trust himself due to his fragile state to shag a pupil angry

As an adult, he should have known to ask for help in this situation. If, as I think I heard on the radio this morning, she sent him lots of texts/rang him etc (her friends described it as stalking, apparently?), he should have gone to his Head of Department, or to the school's Senior Management Team, and told them what was going on, so that they could have stopped the situation.

HelenPat79 Thu 15-Jan-15 12:42:33

But your state of mind is taken into account in any type of crime you commit and if you're fragile because of anything in your life at the time that will count in favour of being lenient.

And it surely makes a difference whether the teacher pursued the pupil or not because otherwise you'd have a situation where a teacher who pressures a teenager into sex would get the same treatment as a teacher who stupidly has sex with a teenager who is as enthusiastic as he is. That can't be right.

I say "he" but of course it could be a female teacher too, there was one not long ago I think where the judge also mentioned she was struggling emotionally after her husband left her or something, and the teenage boy pursued her, and she got carried away and gave in to temptation. It would be wrong to treat her the same as a woman who went after a boy who wasn't very keen on the whole idea.

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