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  • I sat in a class of twenty four students from many disciplines; ranging from chiropractors to health and fitness instructors, all training for the Certificate in Education.

    “Turn to the person sitting next to you and compose a learning objective based on the subject on the whiteboard,” the short, round, ex-army instructor told us.

    The person sitting next to me turned to her left, leaving me without a partner.

    “Okay, Jeremy go and sit with Diane please” Mr Kedge told a tall, middle aged man.

    As Jeremy strode across the room towards me the teacher said teasingly, “Working with a woman for a change mate.”

    “Right,” said Jeremy rubbing his hands together, “lets try and write this stupid objective shall we? I don’t see why I have to do all this training. The teenagers I work with just need someone to make them behave.”

    I wrote the title for the objective on the large piece of paper and waited, marker pen poised, for the discussion to begin.

    Jeremy leaned forward and hissed in my ear, “You dirty tart,” and told me what he would do to me if he caught me alone. Then he leaned back in his chair with the same amiable grin as usual, giving Mr Kedge a wave.

    I was too shocked and embarrassed to retaliate and heart pounding; I managed to get through the exercise.

    After the lesson I waited behind and explained to the two male tutors that I was frightened of Jeremy. I couldn’t remember exactly what he said; my mind had blocked out his malicious sexual suggestion.

    “Oh don’t worry about him,” Mr. Kedge told me; “He’s a terrible one for the ladies. I promise not to pair you with him again.”

    Over the next few weeks I kept quiet about the incident, until a younger, more vulnerable woman confided in me that he had said something really horrible to her; and she did not know what to do about it.

    I decided to talk to the tutors again during my scheduled one on one tutorial. I tried to explain that Jeremy posed a threat to the women in the group and also to the teenage girls he taught.

    “Believe me Jeremy wouldn’t hurt a fly,” responded Mr Kedge unconvinced.

    I hoped that he was right. As I was gathering my notebook and assignments together I overheard my two tutors discussing me.
    “She’s a bit uptight, isn’t she, going on about Jeremy?”

    A couple of years later I noticed one of my tutors from the Cert Ed course working in the next classroom to me.

    “How are you?” I asked.

    “Fine,” he said. “I see you’ve got your own programme now.”

    As continued to my own class he said, “By the way; perhaps you were right about Jeremy; he got involved with one of the women on your course and she killed herself two months later.”
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