Don’t Stand So Close to Me!

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https://darknessprevails.org/dont-stand-so-close-to-me/

I had recently posted my story via Reddit and would like to share my less than pleasant encounters with a wider audience. I also apologise for the length of my story as this happened over the course of a school year of 2013/2014, therefore some of the details I am remembering as I write them.

So let’s begin shall we?

I am now a 20 year old female living in the UK but I won’t tell you were specifically. This story takes place during my third year of high school when I was only 14 years old. Please note that at that stage in my life I was a quite and reserved individual, not one to make a scene. I am drastically different now as a result of the many events that occurred in my life, this story being one of them. I don’t take crap from anyone now!

Anyway, at the end of the summer of that year I had lost my uncle to the cancer he had suffered with for two years. It wasn’t the happiest of times for me as you can imagine. The funeral took place the day I was due to start school again but I was encouraged to go in the next day regardless.

My first class of the year is where I met him for the first time.

For the sake of this story I will refer to him as Mr Stone. Now Mr Stone was a young teacher, I’d probably say in his early to mid twenties, and at a glance he didn’t look like your stereotypical creeper. He was about average height, dark hair and eyes, wore a range of different coloured waist coats and had a wispy thin goatee on his chin. I initially thought he looked like a wizard or a waiter or something along those lines.

Now I’d love to say that the moment I first met him he gave me a bad vibe or whatever but I’d be lying if I did. I thought he was funny, a little strange yeah, but not at all intimidating at first.

I don’t remember much of the first few lessons in class as I more or less just minded my own business in class.

So how can this teacher be creepy I hear you ask??

It started off with little things such as prolonged glances over at me, lingering around the area I was doing my class work in, only holding me back after class to mark my work and complementing me in front of my classmates. By this time most people would assume he favoured me or something, which is an overstatement in my opinion. I was already feeling a little uncomfortable in class around Mr Stone but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle I thought. I just wanted to get on with my work and pass the class to be honest. I was at that point a very quite and reserved person, drastically different to who I am now.

In the months that followed things were beyond uncomfortable for me. He even told me that “I reminded him of his girlfriend” which was beyond weird in my opinion as I was a baby faced 14 year old, not a woman closer to his own age.

I noticed that he was beginning to get even more creepy towards me as I’d catch him staring at me from across the class, winking suggestively at me when no one was looking, trying to keep me back after class, giving me pet names such “his angel” or “his little star”, trying to get me to stand closer to him when I already was close enough to touch him etc.

Even one of the classmates I sat with noticed his behaviour and asked if he can “film him in the act” but I declined. I wish I didn’t now as this situation would have been over a lot quicker.

Finally the end of the school year rolled around and our school did a “change of timetable” a few weeks before summer. This meant we’d get settled into our new classes so after summer we knew where to go and what to do when we got there.

My last lesson with Mr Stone was an “interesting” one. To cut a long story short he told me that he “wanted me in his class the following year”, I later found out he even requested that I’d be in his class (although I’m not entirely sure if that was true), my classmate got him to admit that I was his “favourite” and he more or less made me uncomfortable as unusual.

Thankfully, I wasn’t in Mr Stone’s class the following year as I would have been the only female in the class if I was. However, his behaviour never stopped there. Whenever he’d see me in the halls he’d always make a point to try and get my attention by either waving or staring at me from wherever he was. A few other students, and my own mother, witnessed this at various different points and occasions but nothing ever did come of these actions.

He left the school I attended in late 2014 and I have neither heard or seen him since thankfully.

Now I bet you’re all wondering why I didn’t report him to anyone at the time?

To put it simply: I wasn’t entirely sure if I could.

The people who did see some of these events moved on after he left, no authority figure ever caught him doing anything I have listed, he was well liked among the students at my high school and, as many other people have pointed out when I tell them my story, he never actually “did” something to me.

If I could go back in time I would have reported these events as I have came to learn that it doesn’t matter if someone “did” something to you. If someone is persistently giving you unwanted attention then you are within your rights to report it. It doesn’t matter if the person harassing you is your friend, co worker, classmate, lecturer, coach or teacher.

You shouldn’t have to stay silent.

I wish someone could have told me that when I was 14 then maybe I would have spoke up against him. I was too scared.

I am no longer scared of anyone anymore!

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