Teacher banned for life after asking students to perform sex acts

A Merseyside teacher has been banned from the classroom for life after he was said to have kissed a student, placed her hand on his genitals, and asked pupils to perform sex acts on him.

Lee Myers, a former ICT teacher, is not permitted to teach anywhere in England after a teacher misconduct panel found his actions while working at the Oldershaw School in Wallasey amounted to unacceptable professional conduct and bringing the profession into disrepute, having used his position to exploit a student and engage in conduct of a sexual nature with her.

Mr Myers, 43, was employed at the Wallasey school between 2008 and 2016, having spent six years in a similar position at Halewood Academy. A series of more than two dozen allegations of misconduct were proven against the former teacher during a professional hearing earlier this year.

A public report of the hearing revealed how Mr Myers was interviewed by police in April 2016. On April 15 he was made redundant from his position at the school.

In July 2017, a criminal trial of 10 charges against Mr Myers took place from which he was acquitted of all counts. He also denied any misconduct in written evidence to his tribunal.

The panel was told how during a police interview in 2017, a girl referred to as Pupil A revealed how another student had asked Mr Myers to take them home after school. Mr Myers drove towards Liverpool, where he lived, in the opposite direction to which the students lived.

The teacher drove to an underground car park and Pupil D left the car briefly. It was here where Mr Myers was said to have squeezed the top of Pupil A’s leg.

When she told him to get off, he asked why and laughed, to which she replied she was scared. When the girl said she wanted to go home, Mr Myers was said to have called her “a bore” and drove around Liverpool for an hour.

The panel heard how Mr Myers asked Pupil D and Pupil A to sit on him and if they would perform sexual acts on him. Pupil A said they refused, and Mr Myers offered to get Pupil D a bottle of vodka if she would do it.

Pupil A said her friend agreed and as a result, Mr Myers said, “I’ve got you that, you’ve got to do what I want.” Pupil D then said no and took the vodka, telling the teacher she did not want to.

Pupil A said Mr Myers stopped the car, got out and went around to Pupil D’s door, that he had grabbed Pupil D’s head and pulled it towards him but she moved her head back and got out of the car. Pupil A remained in the car and said no when Mr Myers asked if she was scared.

The report said he then grabbed her head and kissed her. Mr Myers was said to have pinched the back of Pupil A’s neck, preventing her from moving away and causing pain. She asked him to take them home, where they would get out at Pupil D’s house.

During his police interview, Mr Myers admitted that Pupil A and Pupil D had asked him for a lift home from school, that he had agreed to do so and that since he had an errand to run in Liverpool, they had asked if he could take them shopping in Liverpool.

He said when they had reached Liverpool, Pupil A and Pupil D had refused to get out of the car which had made him feel uncomfortable. He denied kissing Pupil A and said she had plenty of opportunities to leave if she was uneasy.

On another occasion, Pupil A said in his classroom, Mr Myers grabbed her wrist and moved his hand up the back of her palm and she tried to move away but could not because he had such a strong grip. The panel heard Pupil A claimed Mr Myers put her hand “on his by his penis over his trousers” and she moved it away and was “scared and anxious.”

She said Mr Myers had said “come on don’t be boring, let’s just have a laugh” and that she had told the teacher she wanted him to stop it and left the classroom. Pupil A was said to have told her friend, Pupil B, to never leave her with Mr Myers again because he had put her hand around his genitals, outside of his trousers.

The panel also heard of occasions when Mr Myers was alleged to have grabbed Pupil A by the neck and hit her on the arm and head. She said on one occasion he had squeezed her neck for around five seconds, causing her pain.

Mr Myers accepted that this could have occurred but not in the manner suggested. He said he tried to be a funny and approachable teacher who tried to get on with students and this involved “banter” and trying to diffuse situations with humour.

He said if he found students were distracted, he would tap them on the head or back of the neck and he had done so with Pupil A.

The panel was told how a girl referred to as Pupil C said in a police interview on the occasions she observed this, she could see the force used by Mr Myers hurt Pupil A, was visible and “not nice to watch.” The teacher was described as wellbuilt in comparison to Pupil A and her friend felt the grabbing of the neck had been intended to hurt.

At this same time, Mr Myers was said to have put his hand down the girl’s back and underneath her bra strap. Pupil A said she had moved his hand quickly and the teacher should not have done it.

The student alleged Mr Myers laughed and said “don’t be like that, don’t be boring.” Pupil A said she had been made to feel uncomfortable with his actions. Pupil C said her friend told her Mr Myers had done something to her, “like put his hands down her top and tried to undo her bra.”

The report said during the criminal trial, it was revealed Pupil A reported the incident to her mother. The tribunal was told how on a separate occasion, Mr Myers had pinned Pupil A to a wall, placed her in a headlock and punched her arms and legs.

She said that Mr Myers had told her to stop being so miserable and “being a faggot.”

Pupil A said Mr Myers claimed he was joking. In oral evidence heard by the tribunal, the girl stated that there had been no reason for Mr Myers to have punched her arm, she had just been walking past.

During the criminal trial, an examination took place of Pupil A’s phone which revealed a number of text messages between her and Mr Myers between March and April 2016. All but three had been deleted and Mr Myers admitted contacting Pupil A, but not that it was inappropriate.

The report detailed how Mr Myers had complained to another pupil about being ignored “by girls” and sent a text to Pupil A saying it was about her. Pupil A was said to have told him to stop because it was not right and made her feel uncomfortable.

The teacher was also said to have made comments about the size of Pupil A’s breasts, how he found her sister attractive and that she was “too good for her boyfriend and needed an older man.”

The panel was told how another pupil, who had overheard a phone call between pupil A and Mr Myers, said during the call, the teacher asked Pupil A to meet with him at a train station and they would get a hotel or go back to his home. The report said: “Mr Myers said ‘I think you should get the train into town in 20 minutes and I’ll come and meet you and pick you up and we’ll go out.’ She stated that she asked Mr Myers why she would do that, and he said “because I’m bored and you’re bored and it’s a bit of fun.”

In her evidence, Pupil C stated that she would never forget that phone call and she wanted her friend to report Mr Myers’ behaviour to her mother. She stated that at the point of this call, she realised that matters were progressing, and felt the need to protect Pupil A.

Pupil C said if her friend did not tell her mother, she would. In written representations Mr Myers explained the impact the allegations against him had and denied them, but was not present for the hearing into his conduct.

Having found the allegations proven, the panel was satisfied that the conduct of Mr Myers fell significantly short of the standard of behaviour expected of a teacher and he was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct. The report said the three-person panel felt Mr Myers’ actions were deliberate, sexually motivated and he had demonstrated a lack of insight into previous concerns that were raised regarding maintaining professional boundaries with students in or around 2008.

The report said Mr Myers was “aware of the mistakes he had made and the poor levels of professional conduct that on face value he had displayed.” He said that he had let the profession, his family, and himself down.

Mr Myers said he had been “misguided” in the way in which he had tried to teach and that his intention had been to inspire and motivate his students to be successful. However, while he accepted informality in his teaching practice, he denied any impropriety in his relationship with Pupil A of the nature that the panel has found proven.

The panel said Mr Myers’ “limited insight” did not reflect the seriousness of his conduct, or how it had impacted Pupil A. The teacher said he was sorry to everyone involved but there was no demonstration of empathy with the perspective of Pupil A, his professional colleagues or the public.

As a result, Mr Myers has been prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Oldershaw School said, “The allegations took place during a time when the school had just come through a period of merger and other external pressures. This most certainly does not excuse any actions that were or were not taken at that time.

“The school of that time is incomparable with the school of today. Since the period in question, the leadership of the school has seen significant change, with an entirely new leadership team and many significant changes to the structure and personnel of the board of trustees.

“We are confident that the tight safeguarding procedures and staff awareness on safeguarding that are in place today would not allow such improper behaviour to occur. ”

Mr Myers has been approached for a response.


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