atmosphere between us. He joked about it afterwards, saying it was like we'd had a lover's tiff. I think my parents were a bit confused by it all. They knew nothing explicitly wrong was going on and so they didn't quite know what do to about it." Soon afterwards, however, Sapphire's mother insisted she move to a different class. "There were rumours in the staffroom about us and my teacher was warned to back off," she says. "He did as he was told, but I missed him. He was a really important part of my life." She started going back to his classroom after school once a week. "We just talked," she says. As she neared 18, however, the relationship shifted. She began to grow away from him and he became neurotic and, she says, "slightly stalkerish". "I got the impression that things were nearing a climax. I had the definite feeling that he was expecting something to happen after so many years of what I began to suspect was what he thought of as having 'waited'. I found the thought of him waiting really creepy and realised I had potentially got into something I hadn't genuinely understood," she says. He sent Sapphire 18 red roses on her birthday and appeared at her class's leaving party. "My friends formed a protective ring around me and every time he came near, they spirited me away," she says. She left school and never saw him again. Two decades on, she feels fondness and sadness for him. "I think he was a vulnerable man," she said. "I vaguely worry that he remembers our relationship with pain. I hope he doesn't." Katherine has even fonder memories of her relationship with a teacher. She was 15 when Tom came to teach at her girls' school. She moved to a sixth-form college at 16. A week later, Tom asked her out on a date. "There weren't many male teachers at our school so we were all very aware of this 23-year-old new staff member," says Katherine. "He never taught me, but all my friends fancied him. I wasn't particuarly taken by him until we went for that drink." Two years after their first date, they were married. They had two children and the marriage lasted for 30 years, until 2002, when Tom died. Katherine says laws that prevent teachers and pupils having relationships are correct. "He must have been noticing me when I was still a pupil at his school, but we occasionally said to each other how lucky it was that he was no longer my teacher," she says. "Had I stayed at that school, nothing would
ever have happened between us because that would have been completely wrong." Some of the teachers at her old school, however, continued to disapprove of the relationship, refusing to go to their wedding. "Their reaction was a complete surprise to me and meant nothing. I wasn't dazzled by Tom. I suppose I was flattered at first, because he was a teacher and an older man –but only for that first date," she says. "Our relationship was completely normal. Completely ordinary.
Teacher convicted of sex act with second student in East Palo Alto classroomA 35-year-old teacher was convicted this week of performing sexual acts with two teenage male students inside her East Palo Alto charter school classroom.
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