NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — When she first read about the teenage boys who’d kept a “pedo database” on a teacher who they thought was a creep with their female classmates, it took a moment for the young woman to realize they were at her old middle school. And, although the teacher wasn’t identified, the description of his actions sounded just like her former teacher and coach.
The boys had kept notes in a Discord subchannel. As a middle-schooler, she had kept a diary. Over a distance of years, they’d come to the same conclusions.
Within days of the Globe’s exclusive story about the “pedo database,” the young woman came forward with allegations of harassment and bullying by the same teacher at Davisville Middle School.
Interim Superintendent Michael Waterman placed the teacher on leave in late April and launched an investigation into allegations that the teacher had stalked a pre-teen girl at the middle school while he was her coach in 2019, and had been inappropriate with other girls. Waterman received the allegations in April from lawyer Timothy J. Conlon, who is representing the girl’s family, as well as current and former athletes at North Kingstown High School who have accused former basketball coach Aaron Thomas of conducting naked “fat tests” on teenage athletes.
The middle-school girl’s family had tried to get then-Superintendent Phil Auger to do something about the teacher, who they said had fixated on their daughter and began stalking her. It wasn’t until they threatened to get a restraining order that the teacher was made to stop coaching middle-schoolers in North Kingstown. However, the teacher then went to coach in two other school districts and remained as a teacher at Davisville Middle School. According to Conlon, the parents were told that the teacher had coaching sessions with some girls in his basement.
After the teacher was placed on leave, the mother of one of the boys who’d been keeping the “pedo database” contacted Conlon. Throughout 2021, the boy and a small group of friends had been documenting things the teacher said and did to the girls that seemed creepy, like encouraging one to dance, and another to wiggle her bare toes. The teacher told the students that he’d weathered parents’ complaints for nearly 30 years, and there was nothing anyone could do to him, so they decided to keep notes.
Their notes are now part of multiple investigations into the North Kingstown School Department and the teacher, including an investigation under the federal anti-discrimination law Title IX, into how sexual harassment and misconduct allegations have been handled by school officials.
After reading about the middle-school boys, the young woman contacted Conlon.
“That young woman, now an adult, felt confident from the excerpts attributed to the teacher in the chat that she had also been a student of this teacher, as she had been exposed to similar conduct during her tenure,” Conlon said in a statement Thursday.
The woman is now cooperating with the school district’s independent investigator, he said.
The woman also wanted to send a message to the boys at Davisville Middle School who’d kept the “pedo database.”
The boys had jokingly called themselves “Weird Idiotic People.” The young woman addressed them as “Brave Young Men.”
“When I first read the story about the students who kept a written record of their teachers concerning behavior, I had no idea that they were from my local school district,” she began in an e-mail to them, which was released by Conlon. “All I could think of was how brave those students were for taking a stand against someone who was supposed to be a positive influence in their life.”
“When I was a student in [the teacher’s] class, I felt helpless against his harassment and bullying. None of the other adults took my feelings seriously. Not to mention the blind eye teachers would turn to the creepy relationships that he had with certain students,” she wrote. “Hearing that the same thing was still happening in his class and sports team nearly seven years after I had left leaves me feeling sad and frustrated with the school systems lack of action.”
“Thank you so much for standing up for all of the students that didn’t have a voice. You are very brave for taking a stand against something you knew was wrong, and you should be proud of yourselves for that.”
One of the boys who’d kept the “pedo database” read her e-mail last week.
“That makes me feel very good that I’ve done something for people, that my friends and I got someone to speak up about mistreatment,” said the boy, who is now 15 and a student at North Kingstown High School. “I hope this is going to inspire more young people to do similar things, although people shouldn’t have to go to the lengths of keeping a log about their teacher’s behavior. But I hope it’ll inspire other students to make a change when they see behavior like this.”
The teacher has not responded to Globe requests seeking comment.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the day that one of the boys read the e-mail from the young woman who says she was harassed by the same teacher. The boy received her e-mail on Monday, Sept. 26.