Sued teacher denies ‘overwhelming desire’ for student

 

A Toowoomba teacher accused of having sex with a student in the 1990s has denied feeling a "compulsion" to be with him after she continued to have contact with the boy despite being reprimanded over an incident involving the pupil on school grounds.

The woman has denied all allegations of sexual activity with the former student who is now suing her for over $1 million, claiming their alleged relationship impacted his subsequent education and employment opportunities and left him with mental health issues.

The former pupil alleges she engaged in an inappropriate relationship with him over two years, starting when he was aged 13 in Grade 8 and she was 29.

The Supreme Court has heard about an incident where other students allegedly saw her sitting on the boy's lap in front of a computer and the pair wrestling in a classroom.

The woman has denied the allegations saying the boy had "perched" on the edge of her seat to help with a printing problem before later demonstrating rugby moves he had made in a game earlier that day.

The woman told the court she was spoken to by the private school's deputy headmaster after the incident came to light.
In a letter he also instructed the teacher to have no physical contact with pupils and not to be alone in a classroom with the student who is now suing her.

The teacher then rang the boy's mother to tell her she couldn't give him the kind support she had been providing, such as pastoral care, the court heard.

She told the court that the boy's mother suggested her son could start calling her at home, which started happening about once a week.

"She was concerned that (her son) needed support … she said to me that the school can't tell me who I can talk to in my private life," she said.

"I felt quite compromised at this stage because of my friendship with (the mother)."

The boy's barrister Brian Dooley SC, asked if she was prepared to put her career at risk because of that friendship.

"I hadn't thought of it like that but I suppose that is what possibly happened, yes," she said.

Mr Dooley suggested it was instead because she had an "overwhelming desire to be with (the student)".

"I disagree," she said.

"You just couldn't let him go, could you," he said.

"I disagree," she said.

"Even though your job was at stake and you'd been exposed you still could not leave him alone, isn't that the case," Mr Dooley said.

"I disagree," she said.

"It was a compulsion for you by then … you were in a process of wanting to have sex with him," he said.

"I disagree … it is not right," she said.

The trial continues.

Originally published as Sued teacher denies 'overwhelming desire' for student


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