The Megan Stammers Story

Rarely does a story get worse once it has been reported and become an ongoing case but everyday this story seems to.

I cannot begin to imagine the pain and anguish her parents and step parents are going through.   As a mother of three children of a similar age my heart breaks for them.    And also for the teacher’s wife.   What on earth must she be thinking?

Awful enough to learn your husband has been having an affair (I use that word as an emotional affair has been going on, if not a physical one, of which we have no proof but can only surmise) for seven months but to then learn the “other woman” is a teenage schoolgirl?  That makes me shudder.

Now.  The rest of this post is based on news reports and I am not presenting them as facts.   I don’t have facts, none of us do.     It is my opinion and I need to get this out of my head.

We learnt yesterday that the school had been advised of this “relationship” seven months ago.   The school and the local authority were investigating and were about to suspend the teacher involved.

Why did they not tell Megan’s family?

I will tell you why.   Because they are protecting the teacher’s human rights and because they were worried that by alerting the parents the teacher might get a thumping.

Innocent until proven guilty I agree with BUT these are serious allegations and why do they take seven months to investigate?

And when a fifteen year girl is involved what about her parents rights?

Now today we learn that the police had been involved in this and that both Megan and the teacher’s phones had been confiscated.

Why did they not tell Megan’s family?

They have taken her mobile phone, possibly on a contract being paid by her parents but don’t think it appropriate to tell her parents?

So concerned about this relationship that phones were confiscated, an interview taken place and yet nobody had spoken to Megan’s parents about it.

Surely they were a flight risk.  Surely it must have occurred to these authorities that Megan might have run away, even if she hadn’t gone with him?

So they did flee, possibly as the following day he was going to be suspended and the affair was about to be exposed.   And got to Dover.  How did passport control not question them?   Her passport clearly says that she is fifteen and they have different surnames.

When my parents flew with my kids I was advised to write a letter that explained that they had my consent to travel without me and contact numbers if they wanted to verify the information.

A teenager in term time is in a car going to France with a man who could be a boyfriend.  Her passport shows she is underage.   Maybe overkill to ask “what is the nature of your trip” but if somebody had then they might have been flustered / denied boarding / detained.  Who knows but finding them in the UK would surely be easier than finding them in mainland Europe.

Why did they not tell Megan’s family?

I know I know… don’t all start commenting on how that is not passport control’s job.  You are right it isn’t.

But surely it has to be somebody’s job to protect this girl?

Her parents were being denied the opportunity to do it by various authorities who are hiding behind policies that dictate they cannot divulge the information.   All the while that car was driving further and further away from the UK.

Questions need to be asked about how authorities deal with these cases because this cannot be allowed to happen again.

Let’s just hope for everybody’s sake that Megan comes home safe and sound soon.

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  • I think the school have handled this really badly. The teacher should have been suspended ages ago while they investigated the claims, certainly her extra maths tuition should have stopped immediately. The parents should have been told & it dealt with accordingly. All that happened was a slow investigation, pushing them together more, they’ve been given months to develop a strong bond & the school, local authorities, police & now media have forced them to run. It’s them against everybody.

    Megans feelings are very real for her, when you’re so young everything seems so intense, your hormones are all over the place. I think with the media & public condemnation she’ll protect the teacher, they’ll both be too scared to come back to the public lynching.

    I’m not condoning what the teacher has done at all, he’s got no excuses he’s in a position of trust, he’s married & he shouldn’t have encouraged it.

    Its nothing more than a schoolgirl crush, she’ll look back in years to come, like most girls & wonder what she was thinking. For him he’s ruined his marriage, his career, his reputation, basically his life, over a 15 year old who is not old enough to know her own mind yet, hasn’t experienced life yet.

    I hope he realises how wrong he’s been & sends Megan home, nothing good can come from this.

    • Thank you Bev. Exactly. You are spot on. The feelings for her are real which is why “position of trust” is such an important term. We need him to be the adult and do the right thing. But the longer this goes on, the harder that becomes.

  • It astonishes me that if a 15 year old does not attend school the parents can be held responsible and jailed, yet it was not deemed necessary to report this serious ongoing situation to this child’s parents. Parents would presumably be informed of uniform, homework or other behavioural violations but this appalling breach was not deemed sufficiently important or urgent for the parents to be notified.

  • He is an ADULT who was in a POSITION OF TRUST. She is a CHILD who was AT RISK. The risk has sadly become a reality. She has been let down by all those in a positon to protect her. The decision not to inform her parents, who would have done everything to protect her, is totally unforgivable.

  • Words almost fail me!
    Totally agree with the points made by the three respondents ahead of me. All I’ll add is a comparison of the committments sports clubs have to make vis-a-vis junior members in their care: the amount of paperwork involved – the requirement for some senior members to be certificated – the rules that have to be in place to cover such activities as use of showers etc. – the rules governing transport to away matches – the parental consents that must be obtained and recorded. I could go on!
    These rules are designed not only for the protection of the kids but also to protect senior members from allegations of malpractice by said juniors [this has happened] and although they are onerous to set up and maintain they are generally accepted as a good thing and now part of a way of life.
    There must[?] be parallel provision in the education environment, surely?
    Any teachers in the loop who might comment? I think we should be told.

    • Spot on.

      And now we hear that the person at Megan Stammer’s school was himself investigated for similar issues as this?

      That school needs to be shut down.

    • Hi – I am a teacher. Before you can work in an school in any capacity you have to have an enhanced CRB criminal record check. If anything shows up on it you will not be employed, unless it is totally irrelevant to children and 10+ years old (e.g. minor driving offences a long time ago). Once in school, you take child protection training and get a certificate for it which must be renewed every 3 years with more training. Every person in the school has child protection training. There are child protection policies in place by law. There is also a member of staff in every school whose role is to look after child protection and a designated member of the council, called a LADO, to investigate incidences like this where a member of staff is involved (because they can be objective). This is a thorough system, I’m sure you’ll agree! Despite this, things do still happen… talking about Megan’s case in the staffroom, people are utterly appalled. Hoping she turns up soon…

      • Thanks Jess.

        It is a shame that as this story unfolds it seems that this school’s Policy on child protection is not as robust as they claim it to be. The Chair of Governors himself is being investigated for historical child sexual abuse claims, dating back to the 70s. And a previous member of staff was jailed for something similar.

        And at the end of the day Policies are all well and good but in the real world people don’t stick to them and there needs to be a safeguard in place. As a previous commentor has stated, this teacher should have been suspended on day one of this investigation. THAT is a child protection issue. How was a teacher under investigation allowed to continue with one to one maths tuition with the pupil at the centre of the investigation?

        If that is not covered by Policy it certainly should be.

        But yes, let’s hope she comes home soon

  • If I were her parents I’d be more angry than anguished – with both of them & with the school. She’ll be back (there’s nothing like living with the object of your fantasies to put you off) and she’ll be fine. I have every sympathy with Megan – what spirited, imaginative 15 yr old wouldn’t be thrilled to be starring in the drama of her own life? She must have been relishing this – you can be so utterly in love at that age (and at any, to be honest). Can you imagine being that much of a queen bee among your friends (seems they knew)? Having such a delicious secret? Must have been the best fun.
    But as for the teacher – if he’d genuinely fallen for Megan he could have left, taught somewhere else and waited till she was older – the age gap isn’t so massive after all. (though being married isn’t ideal..). As it is, he’s guilty of the worst form of exploitation. If the school really knew (& we only have the newspaper version), they absolutely should have suspended him.

  • It usually boils down to this ridiculous nanny state and doo-gooder rubbish that we have to endure these days. Human rights? He gave those up when he had an affair with an under-age girl. She was flattered by an older man, it’s a teenager’s dream at that age. The school should be held partly responsible for taking no solid action on this but once that teacher comes back, he will no doubt lose his job, his self-respect, his wife and his dignity. Stick that up your arses, doo-gooders of the UK!

    CJ x

  • It is how authorities always deal with things nowadays – by burying their heads in the sand and hoping it goes away. Or that someone else will make a decision.

    Had a similar case at local school, all the students knew something was going on between female student, 15 at the time and council employee/sports instructor more than twice her age. Saucy emails between her and him have been read by fellow students (but not by usually very alert IT staff?), but no action. Caught in car together numerous times, girl ducking out of sight, everyone talking about it, but no consequences. Parents were not keen to get involved, so platonic affair or affair (the latter according to most) went on till girl left school after fluffing her exams. She later married her (gentle-?!?)-man, who left ill wife and son nearly homeless after stopping mortgage payments without telling, and on demands of his teenage bride tried to get them out of the house and put them on the street.

    We knew all the involved parties fairly well at the time, well, we thought we did, but you live and learn. Found out a lot of stuff later from other pupils and male party’s ex. Never have I met a more twisted minded young girl in my life, so focussed on self gratification and intent on destruction of others. I didn’t realise they existed! We watched how she went about snaring her catch after trying it on with several others in places of leadership who weren’t interested. How is that possible at such a young age!

    Not that that exonerates him, I have no time for him today, either, unprofessional is the mildest word I can think of at the moment, but there are plenty stronger ones!

    Anyway, I think local authorities may be a bit out of their depths dealing with cases like this. I know of plenty also, where allegations have been made, devastating the staff involved, which were later proven to be nothing more than fabrications. What do you do? Damned of you do, and damned if you don’t. Somehow there is something badly wrong with our society.

    I agree with your sentiments in the blog post, several months and nothing was done? And parents not informed, how can that be, surely that is the least you can expect. It might have given them a chance to get involved and talk to their daughter early on. As her parent I would be furious if the situation wasn’t so desperately sad at this stage. You hope that schools are ‘safe’ places for our children, where they are allowed to be just that – children, instead of being thrust into an adult role by some selfish person of trust living out their mid life crisis. You expect local authorities to look after them, while they are in charge, after all you are obliged to send your children to school (unless you home-school).

    Poor Megan, I have no doubt she is nothing like the afore mentioned girl student and I sincerely hope it all ends well for her and her family, as I am sure it will, these cases usually do. But in the meantime there will no doubt be heartache and frustration for them.

    • Wow, I’ve known a few women do that in the workplace, rising through the ranks quickly, discarding one man for another & its always shocked me, but never in a child.

      Megan isn’t a child though is she, legally she is, but like all teenagers they think they’re adults. Even my 10 year old neice isn’t a child when she talks to you, then suddenly when she behaves slightly babyish it surprises us all.

      We give children a lot more freedom now, talk to them like adults, allow them to voice opinions, let them go on the internet without the parental locks.

      Gone are the days of children being seen & not heard. It’s not a bad thing but it comes with its own issues, they seem much older than their years, they look & dress older, wear make-up, rebel earlier.

      We live in a selfish, money focused, materialistic world, why wouldn’t children learn to manipulate to get what they want.

      Megan had a bucket list, on it she wanted to travel, be famous, be on the cover of a magazine… she’s certainly managed to cross a lot of things off that list, who’s using who.

      Who knows, they could be two very nice, innocent, very naive people who really believe they’re in love. I just think its very very sad, the amount of people they have both hurt, & no doubt ultimately that will include themselves.

      • The girl I mentioned has shocked us all, though we should have seen it much much earlier. All the signs were there even at age 12, with her trying to muscle into families, including ours. Maybe we just have to face up to the fact that in some ways the youngsters today aren’t as innocent as they used to be.

  • “It usually boils down to this ridiculous nanny state and doo-gooder rubbish that we have to endure these days.”

    What crap. By accounts, she eloped of her own free will, and conversely, he appears to have been driven by infatuation as much as she. Put another way, while a 15 year old girl may not be as mature as she thinks, a 30 year old man may not be as mature as society would prefer him to be either. Moreover, it’s only in these ‘do-gooding’ days that a 15 female is deemed a mere girl.

  • A 15 year old is just a mere girl, I’m nothing like i was at that age now thank god.

    I agree it does appear that she eloped of her own free will, but until she’s legally an adult that isn’t her decision to make, & yes I’d agree that some adults are less mature than others, but if that is the case & he is a vulnerable adult who wears his heart on his sleeve, lives in a dream world & acts on emotions maybe a career as a teacher was a very poor choice.

    Children, teenagers they need boundaries, rules, no matter how grown up we treat them. Teachers are just that, teaching life skills so they can succeed in the world. He’s abused his position & crossed a line.