Glynn’s father was a ‘womaniser’ who beat his mother, and they both drank heavily. While not overly religious they sent Glynn to the local Catholic primary school in northern Queensland in the 1970s.
When Glynn was 11 his teacher was Mr Tucker, who his parents thought was ‘the duck’s nuts’. Although usually an average student, his grades improved during Tucker’s teaching.
The next year Tucker offered to give Glynn additional reading tuition at the school after class time. After this tutoring he would take Glynn into a back room, strip him, play with his genitals and masturbate him.
‘I didn’t understand what was going on, I was too young. And he laid me down, and I’ll never forget the face while he was doing it, just that he was getting off on it ... It’s hard to move away from that face. I’ve learned to live with it, it just won’t go away so you live with it, you deal with it.’
Tucker would say ‘he was testing me nerves, he was yanking on me and feeling all around that area’. Glynn had never had any sex education and did not know what was happening.
The same thing happened three or four times, until one day Glynn refused to go into the room and ran home crying. There was no more tutoring or abuse after this. ‘Everything went cold after that, even at school it went cold ... He just backed off.’
At the time Glynn did not disclose the abuse, and went on to complete his secondary education at another Catholic school.
Glynn eventually told his father when he was 18. His father said and did nothing. Glynn felt very let down by this lack of response, and continues to be furious at his father even though he is deceased. Later he spoke about it with his wife before they were married – ‘she’s been very supportive, she’s been like a rock’.
In the early 2000s Glynn reported the abuse to police, and learned that Tucker had been ‘done’ some years earlier for sexually abusing another student.
He agreed to do a pretext call to Tucker, who admitted sexually abusing him. ‘I said to him, “Why did you do it?”, and he said “Well, some men like women, some men like men, and some men like boys”.’
Glynn was furious as Tucker did not sound at all remorseful for his actions. Tucker was charged, entered a guilty plea, and received a suspended sentence for the offences against Glynn. When this sentence was delivered ‘I got up and stormed out. I was not happy’.
Glynn remains extremely angry that Tucker was not incarcerated, and believes the criminal justice system is ‘ridiculous. It’s piss poor’. For him, the abuse has been ‘a life sentence’, whereas ‘the bastard who did this ... he gets 12-months’ probation, that’s it’.
‘He should be behind bars. I asked for 12-months, didn’t get it ... Why was I ignored? I still ask that question. Why did he get off? ... I wanted him to go to jail for 12-months. I wanted him to hurt.’
After school Glynn went on to have a successful career, marry and have children. He did not want his sons to have male teachers as a result of the abuse he went through, ‘but I had to let go ... I had to learn to relax’.
Glynn received victims of crime compensation after Tucker was convicted. As yet he has not taken any action against the school, and he is now seeking legal advice.
‘Someone needs to pay for what’s happened. And I don’t want a million dollars, I don’t want nothing like that ... What I want is, I want an apology.’
A few years ago things ‘came to a head’ after Glynn experienced a bereavement. He had a nervous breakdown, leaving him unable to work. Even knowing he had children to care for, he contemplated taking his own life. ‘It’s the pain, that’s what it is, it’s just living with that pain. You just don’t care.’
Although he now has good support from mental health professionals and family he continues to battle anxiety and depression. ‘What you think is what you become, that’s what I’ve learned, and you have to deal with your thoughts. If you deal with your thoughts, you can deal with your emotions, ‘cause it all starts with your thoughts.’
Having had issues managing his anger over the years – ‘I’d snap at little things’ – he has now worked on this a lot. ‘Professional people have definitely helped me ... I’ve read a lot of books, it has improved.’
These days he is more able to talk openly about the abuse. ‘If people want to talk about it, I tell everyone. Me boss knows about it, the second in charge knows about it ... I’m not ashamed of it because people need to know.’