By Devina Samaroo
“You can’t stop people from falling in love” – that is the defence advanced by the embattled teacher, Coen Jackson who has since admitted to having sex with two of his former students of the Bishops’ High School even as he denied allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him.
Jackson, 39, and a teacher for over 15 years is at the center of a sex scandal where he is accused of grooming and having sexual relations with his students once they reach the age of consent, which is 16 years old.
During a press conference Tuesday, November 21, 2017, and in the presence of his lawyers, Jackson indicated that the relationships he had with his two former students were born out of mutual love.
“On a moral ground, yes, it doesn’t look good on me…however, you can’t stop people from falling in love, you can’t stop people from interacting. I have a very strong relationship with this young lady, an extremely strong relationship. Yes, I’ve been to Colombia with her, yes I went to Aruba with her, yes I went to New York with her, yes I went to Mexico with her. This is not some slam, bang impression that Ruel Johnson is threatening to give of me,” Jackson told reporters, disclosing that his current girlfriend is 21 – years – old.
Both of the former students are presently in their early twenties; Jackson is currently in a relationship with one of the young ladies while the other is in a relationship with Johnson – the Cultural Policy Advisor to the Ministry of Social Cohesion and the individual who has filed the complaint against him.
Jackson strongly believes that Johnson filed the complaint against him because he was displeased that he [Jackson] still communicates with the former student with whom he shared an intimate relationship.
“Mr Johnson started to threaten me and stated among other things that if I were to ever maintain contact with a particular person with whom he enjoys a relationship, he will destroy me publicly. To quote him: I can guarantee you I am going to use my considerable connection in the media to pointedly identify you and have you removed as a teacher in the public education system.”
Notwithstanding his admission, the teacher maintained that he did not have any intimate relationships with the girls while they were in school and he denied making sexual advances to any of his students.
However, when asked about a specific instance where a former student, Melissa Atwell accused the teacher of making sexual advances, Jackson’s lawyer refused to respond to specific allegations.
“We’re not going to get into specifics because the social media with which you referred to is inundated with people who maybe anonymous, pretending to be one person or another … so that particular thing you are reading, we are not going to answer to that,” Attorney Jerome Khan stated.
Khan argued: “suppose now it’s Ruel Johnson posing as the victim.”
The embattled teacher has since taken a leave of absence from the Bishops’ High School to allow the investigations to run its course, however, he is concerned that this scandal signals the beginning of the end of his teaching career.
“I don’t see how I could recover from something like this ever, ever, ever. It doesn’t matter where I go in the world, this stain, people will always have suspicions of me…so I just gotta live with this, it has happened, very unfortunate,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Jackson’s lawyers said they are taking note of the libellous comments being made on social media regarding their client and warned that they will take actions when the time is right.
See previous stories here: https://newsroom.gy/2017/11/20/teacher-under-investigation-for-allegedly-having-sex-with-students/