1 woman’s search for justice uncovers 14 more alleged victims of teacher abuse

1 woman’s search for justice uncovers 14 more alleged victims of teacher abuse

WARNING: This text incorporates particulars of abuse

It began with only one girl.

Anne-Marie Robinson mentioned she was 16 when her 29-year-old highschool music trainer served her alcohol and he or she ended up in his mattress on an out-of-town band journey in 1977. 

Over the following 12 months, she says the trainer groomed and manipulated her into many extra sexual encounters: in vehicles, in school and on different journeys.

“He had intercourse with me as soon as within the classroom, in a closet, and I do not forget that being humiliating,” she mentioned. 

Robinson, 62, says she was weak in highschool and didn’t totally acknowledge the exploitative nature of a teacher-student relationship. She at all times questioned if she was the one one he focused.

She wasn’t. 

A brand new, 10-episode CBC podcast investigation has discovered 15 girls who declare they had been harassed, propositioned or sexually assaulted by the identical trainer once they had been women, typically for years and in some instances, over the identical time interval. He taught at seven completely different faculties within the Toronto space between 1974 and 2000.

The trainer, William Douglas Walker, has by no means been convicted regardless of complaints to a number of police forces in Ontario. 

The CBC investigation, which unearthed a whole bunch of pages of official information, entry to data filings, and consists of greater than two years’ price of interviews with dozens of witnesses, reveals a sample: adults throughout numerous establishments who selected to disregard warnings a couple of trainer who, for many years, moved from college to high school, lady to lady.

Douglas Walker, trainer and band chief, is seen at a goodbye live performance in 1987. (Submitted)

‘He didn’t inform the reality’

Robinson, a former deputy minister and president of the Public Service Fee, says she stopped going to Toronto’s Japanese Excessive Faculty of Commerce in 1978 to get away from Walker.

An opportunity encounter with Walker many years later despatched her on a seek for justice — however when college boards, police and courts failed to supply the solutions, Robinson turned to CBC.

“When there’s massive items which might be lacking, you simply really feel like it is advisable to know. It is advisable to perceive why this occurred, what occurred, what different individuals who had been round on the time thought of,” mentioned Robinson.

One other girl had gone to the Ontario School of Lecturers within the late Nineties with an analogous criticism about the identical trainer. She had gone to the police first, however no prices had been laid.

Public paperwork present the school discovered Walker responsible {of professional} misconduct for sexual violations. The regulator’s determination didn’t point out another abuse victims.

“He didn’t inform the reality and didn’t acknowledge the multiplicity of victims that he had,” mentioned Robinson concerning the school’s tribunal course of. “I would like him to return clear.”

The faculty fined Walker and banned him from instructing in 2001. 

“Walker by no means used bodily drive. He used the drive of his place of energy over me,” mentioned the sufferer whose title was blacked out within the faculty’s determination. 

In 2022, an preliminary CBC investigation tracked down that sufferer, 59-year-old Jeanie McKay. The ensuing CBC story led a number of extra girls to return ahead to CBC and reveal new allegations of abuse. 

Lots of these survivors went to high school within the York Area outdoors Toronto. A number of attended Markham District Excessive Faculty, together with McKay. 

“I assumed he was our little predator,” mentioned McKay, whose expertise occurred after the trainer moved from Robinson’s college. 

Woman sitting at her desk with her arms crossed
Jeanie McKay is now a trainer in British Columbia. (Julie Ireton/CBC)

‘System bumped him round’

First-hand accounts from 1974 via the late ’80s reveal the trainer went consuming with college students at bars, acquired concerned with their adolescent squabbles and managed his classroom with concern. 

He additionally received instructing awards, discovered success at music festivals and was a preferred, charismatic band chief, based on former colleagues.

“As a member of the instructing occupation, he actually abused the scenario,” mentioned McKay, now a trainer in British Columbia. “I’m simply indignant that the system bumped him round, from college to high school.”

Some survivors requested to not be named. Even many years after their abusive experiences, the ladies are nonetheless coping with guilt and disgrace.

CBC discovered proof directors from completely different faculties had been warned concerning the trainer and his inappropriate sexual encounters with teen women over a few years.

I mentioned, ‘Doug, you gotta cease that’– Peter Samuelson, head of music at Stouffville District Secondary Faculty

In 1975, the daddy of a teen scholar knowledgeable a principal concerning the trainer’s sexual behaviour along with his daughter, the daddy not too long ago advised CBC. 

In 1987, a woman advised each a principal and a superintendent with the York Area District Faculty Board that Walker had intercourse together with her on a spring band journey.

Nobody knowledgeable the police. As an alternative, the girl tells CBC she was “slut shamed” by the administration. Walker moved to a different college however not earlier than being given an emotional send-off by colleagues and college students at an end-of-year live performance.

His new supervisor wasn’t conscious of what had gone on, however seen Walker getting too near his teen college students. 

“I mentioned, ‘Doug, you gotta cease that,’” recollects Peter Samuelson, head of music at Stouffville District Secondary Faculty in 1987-88. “I mentioned, ‘No bodily contact.’ To me, that could be a massive factor, you don’t contact women.”

The York Area board advised CBC no recordsdata exist concerning music trainer Doug Walker and the board offered no additional remark.

teacher dipping a student like a dance move inside a college classroom
Douglas Walker is seen dipping one in all his college students inside a classroom. (Submitted)

‘I simply get indignant that what introduced us collectively was him’

CBC despatched the previous trainer a sequence of questions and requested an interview, however he declined the chance. Whereas Walker doesn’t deny having intercourse along with his teen college students, he contends they had been consensual relationships. 

He additionally offered an apology.

“I’ve dug deeply and agonizingly into my previous, trying to hunt all potential causes for why I behaved as I did,” Walker wrote in an electronic mail to CBC. “Nonetheless, I conclude that I, and I alone should bear the accountability for my inexcusable behaviour … and don’t count on, in any approach, to be forgiven.”

Anne Marie Robinson at her home in Ottawa.
Anne-Marie Robinson at her house in Ottawa. (Michel Aspirot/CBC)

Over the course of the CBC investigation, many survivors met one another and took some consolation in figuring out they aren’t alone.

One girl says she was simply 14 when the trainer molested her in school and on band journeys within the mid Nineteen Seventies.

“I simply get indignant that what introduced us collectively was him,” mentioned the survivor.

Discovering and supporting these victims has develop into a key precedence for Anne-Marie Robinson, together with advocating for legislative change to assist forestall abuse in Canadian faculties.

“We will’t transfer ahead as people or as a society if we preserve these things secret. Protecting this secret has not carried out anybody any good,” mentioned Robinson.

Help is accessible for anybody who has been sexually assaulted. You possibly can entry disaster traces and native assist companies via this Authorities of Canada web site or the Ending Violence Affiliation of Canada database. ​​Should you’re in rapid hazard or concern on your security or that of others round you, please name 911. 

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