I was utterly dumbfounded and shattered when the Headmaster, having pulled me out of my class in the middle of the morning session told me that a complaint had been made by the parents of a student, that I had raped their fifteen year old daughter the previous afternoon after school hours in a deserted class room. She had apparently arrived home from school in a distressed state, and after examination at the local hospital the fact that she had been raped was quickly confirmed.
The Headmaster told me that he wanted me off the premises as soon as possible, and that he hoped that I would spend a long long time in jail, and he would make sure that I would never ever teach young people again. The police were waiting for me outside his office, and I was then formally arrested, and taken to the police station where I was asked to make a statement. I was medically examined, and I had to give a sample for DNA testing. I could say nothing more in my statement other than the whole story was a complete fabrication, and that I had never had any contact with the young lady, other than as her teacher. I was not given bail, until the next morning, when an embarrassed policeman confirmed that there was plenty of DNA evidence, but it was definitely not mine, and so the likelihood of any charges being brought were now extremely remote.
After going home for a shower and a meal I went to school, confident that I would be re-instated, but the Headmaster who seemed highly embarrassed and very subdued told me to clear my locker, and leave the premises. During this process I was verbally attacked by two other staff, and one teacher actually struck me in the face. She was pulled away before I could retaliate. When I told them that I was not being charged as the evidence did not support the girls allegation, they looked a bit shamefaced and left the staff room without making any form of apology. I had a brief interview with the union representative and then went home.
The deputy head called to see me a couple of days later then told me that the Headmaster had been reprimanded, and suspended by the Chairman of the Governors for handling the situation so indiscreetly, but now the problem was, that because he had released a press statement naming me as the rapist, it had been decided that I should stay suspended on full pay for the time being until the governors had time to review the whole situation, and to let the while incident die down to avoid further embarrassment to the school.
Sitting at home with all this hanging over me I was well on the way to becoming a physical and emotional wreck. I spent mist of my free time just slumped in the chair staring at the four walls of my living room. I could not conceive of any logical reason why the girl had named me as her attacker, and the fact that I had been abused and physically attacked by some of my colleagues in the staff room was almost as frightening to me as the accusations themselves.
I had been so happy to get this job at one of the top sixth form colleges in the city. I had worked at a couple of schools before, and my new appointment at a higher grade seemed to have been a reward for my previous successes. I had always tried to make my lessons interesting, and as practical as possible. I loved teaching in an innovative way, and my students seemed to enjoy my teaching methods as well.
At 25 I was very fit and I seemed to be well on my way to the higher echelons of the profession. Rickelhurst Grammar was an all girls college. The students were all in the age range sixteen upwards, and I was under no illusion as to the dangers of teaching teenage girls. I was scrupulous in ensuring that I had never been alone or in any compromising position with any student in my short time at the school.
The class I had been teaching that afternoon of the alleged incident were a very lively bunch when the mood took them. I knew that we had one or two glamour pusses in the group, and they would if given the opportunity take full advantage of having a male tutor to show off too. The girl who was accusing me was a new student, and seemed to be very popular with other girls. She had never caused me any problems until now, and I was absolutely amazed to find that I was being accused by her.
During the next week my car was vandalized, and abusive slogans painted on my house after dark and my situation was made worse when my neighbours had obviously heard the rumours, or had read the allegations in the local papers had completely ostracised me. Even my local newsagent asked me to take my business elsewhere. I was surprised that even a retraction in the local evening paper by the governors stating quire definitely that the Headmasters press release had been wrong, and that I had been cleared of all charges and all suspicion, had little effect on public attitudes towards me.
Then one afternoon I had a knock on the door and I opened it to find a man who told me he was the regional union representative of NATFE the lecturers union. He told me that there were many doubts now arising about the validity of the girls statement. The hospital examination had showed evidence of bruising and she had obviously been raped, but the DNA from the semen was definitely not mine, and now together with my statement and denial, her story had to be closely questioned.
However, the question of my re-instatement had to be a decision for the Governors. If I was not re-instated the union would support me by taking the case to an industrial tribunal to claim unfair dismissal. He further said that the way in which my suspension had been handled by the Headmaster, had brought criticism from the governors and his position as Headmaster was now looking very perilous. He had in their opinion made the school liable for an action of libel and slander in the way he had publicized my suspension.
I knew however in my heart that the damage had been done and that I had no future at the school. I knew people would say "there is no smoke without fire" and that would be the thought that would dominate many peoples minds, and I would never be trusted by staff or the parents of students again. Apart from that, I could never consider ever working with the staff who had orally and physically abused me, or with the Head teacher who had been so personally vindictive towards me, and had obviously made my situation and that of the schools so much worse.
On the following Friday I had just finished looking through the Times Educational Supplement, searching in vain for suitable teaching posts, but in fact I was despairing of ever finding another job in teaching, because I knew that the allegations would follow me, and in any case my confidence was at such a very low ebb that the thought of putting myself in a similar situation again was rather frightening. In frustration I had tossed the paper to the floor in utter disgust. I was seriously debating joining the Army Education Service when the telephone rang. There was a lady on the telephone, and she asked. Is that Mr. Tony Nash.?"
"This is Mr. Tony Nash." I replied. "What do you want?."
"Are you looking for a job?"
"Who is asking?
"This is Lady Anne Amersham.
Thinking straight away that I was being set up by some weird practical joker.
"I am sorry but you have the wrong number My days in teaching are finished."
Before I could put the phone down the voice said.
"Hello Mr. Nash. Just go and look out of your window and you will see my car parked outside."
Curiosity won in the end, and I pulled the curtain back and saw a slim blonde young lady I did not recognise, standing by a large black limousine with a mobile phone in her hand. She waved at me.
So I told her "OK you win, I will open the door."
As she walked in I realised my mistake, so I apologised. I told her It's just the bad company I keep and the fact that I had been the subject of quite bit of anti social behaviour by some people.
She laughed. "That's alright Tony. I really am Lady Anne Amersham and I was given your name by a friend of mine who is a governor at your school. I am looking for a private tutor for two wayward but thoroughly loveable young girls. One is seventeen and one is sixteen. Their father is dead, and they have both been expelled from private schools for misbehavior, and now I can not find any other school in my price range which will take them. We have had two private tutors, both ladies, and one lasted a week the other disappeared after 24 hours, so you will know its not an easy job I am offering you."
"You can not be their mother - you are too young?" I said almost without thinking.
"Thank you. No, I am their older sister and both our parents are dead. I married his Lordship and he became their stepfather but he fell of his horse during a local hunt meeting and now he is dead as well."
"What sort of behaviour are you talking about?" I asked my curiosity aroused.
"You name it, and they do it including a charge of attempting to seduce one of their male tutors"
"You obviously know that I am suspended for allegedly raping a student at my last school."
"Yes, I know all about that, but I also know that the allegation has been proved to be wrong, and they are in a quandary about what do about you now, but you are my last hope. Look Tony, I know the girls are not saints, far from it. They frankly are a pair of young tear -aways, so I am prepared to accept my friends word, she is a school governor and she assures me that you are an OK sort of guy, and that you are a good teacher. As long as you can give them some sort of education - I believe my friend, and I am prepared to trust you."
.... There is more of this story ...