Masterbating Student at Gaba English School
by JAMES MCCROSTIE
From the Japan Times:
Harassers exploit Gaba’s ‘man-to-man’ lesson format
Teachers cite unique classroom method and management's disregard for 'contractors' as factors behind prevalence of abuse by students
BY JAMES MCCROSTIE
SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES
JUN 16, 2014
The first sign that Olivia’s Gaba lesson would be anything but ordinary came when her student insisted during the warmup that he didn’t like wearing clothes.
The middle-aged gentleman had previously studied English with Olivia while wearing the shortest of shorts. On this winter day in February 2012, he wore track pants.
During the lesson, Olivia could hear the client’s hand brushing against his pants. But since he constantly scratched himself due to a skin condition, she thought little of it.
“He was sitting right up to the desk so I couldn’t see what was happening down there. A few minutes before the end of the lesson, he pushed himself back and I could see he had a visible erection, and I could see he was stroking it with one hand.” When their eyes met, she says, “He looked at me in a challenging way.”
Olivia believes that if she had been asked the day before it happened, she could have told you exactly how she would’ve handled the situation. But “in the moment, I kind of just froze,” she
says. “Everything flew out of my head and I really didn’t know what to do. So I just kept teaching.”
The student then started using two hands.
When the lesson ended, Olivia had to get him to finally pack up his things and leave by telling him she had another student coming.
“I broke down after he was gone,” she says — crying enough during her next lesson that her female student never booked a class with Olivia again.
Olivia says her managers at Gaba, an English conversation school chain with 39 branches across Kanto, Kansai and Chubu, were not supportive. Unable to speak to her instructor support leader (ISL), who had gone home for the day, she emailed him and copied in her previous ISL and the area manager, a non-Japanese male. Unlike regular teachers at Gaba, whom the company considers contractors, ISLs are full-time Gaba employees who act as assistant managers. Most are non-Japanese former Gaba instructors.
However, rather than blocking the client from her schedule, management told her to be patient while they investigated. “It ended up making me feel like they were accusing me of lying,” says Olivia.
The area manager who dealt with Olivia’s case declined to respond to emailed questions, writing, “I am not able to provide any comment on the issue of sexual harassment.”