The cost of secrets
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Content warning: This episode deals with issues of grooming and sexual abuse. We hope our listeners take care while tuning in.
Quinn Topham always dreamed of becoming a teacher someday, ever since they were in middle school. And finding someone who inspires and pushes us towards our goals can be crucial, especially for teens. So when a respected teacher at their high school offered to take Quinn under his wing, it seemed like perfect timing. “I felt very flattered by it,” Quinn told us in an interview. “Very like, special.”
Over the next year or so, Quinn started to see him as a guiding force. This teacher was someone they could go to for letters of recommendation, advice about career planning, or even just talking to about life. At first, he felt like a mentor that Quinn could rely on, but then, the teacher began to groom Quinn and coerced them into a physical relationship.
Things between them lasted for the next nine years, while Quinn continued to pursue a teaching career. The more time Quinn spent on the other side of the classroom dynamic, the more they were struck by something the teacher had once said: “He had told me from the beginning that one day when I became a teacher, I would understand the line that he had crossed and that I would hate him for it.”
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