In October 1976 Paedophile Action for Liberation (PAL) published its 6th edition of its newsletter Palaver. It included an article reprinted from Time Out concerning List 99 – the Department of Employment’s method of blacklisting teachers from continuing to work.
Transparency, accountability and right of appeal were Patricia Hewitt’s reasonable concerns: “If people are given the chance to make representations, they should be represented by an adviser. But the real point is that for practical reasons and pure fairness anybody who’s going on the list should be told.”
The Time Out article reports that during a recent student teacher occupation, (where is not known), a copy of List 99 had been stolen revealing 1,200 names on a ‘consolidated list’ with quarterly updates with new names added being circulated to teacher training colleges and local education authorities.
The covering letter taken with the List 99 documents warned ‘if the List is seen by unauthorised eyes, it may be transformed from a document of protection into exactly the opposite.’ Or with a more positive spin, a great direct marketing mailing list for recruiting new members to a burgeoning civil liberties campaign for pedophiles?
NCCL obtained a copy of the list and started to approach blacklisted teachers. By the time of publication, they had located seven.
“One former teacher contacted by the NCCL says he was completely unaware that he was on the list. He had been in trouble with school authorities six years ago when he admitted to one of his pupils that he was in love with him and later wrote a long letter to the boy explaining his feelings. He was suspended by his head teacher, a decision which was ratified by the local education department.”
As it happens, in 1970, also six years prior to the Time Out article being published, Tom O’Carroll had been busy writing a long letter to a 13 year old boy, a pupil at Caluden Castle School, Axeholme Road, Coventry where he taught history and ran the school chess club. The train of events leading to O’Carroll’s suspension sound remarkably similar to the teacher above whom the NCCL had contacted to see if he was aware he was on List 99. Did O’Carroll’s promotion into PIE as Chairman all begin with NCCL trawling List 99 for pedophiles to complain on behalf of?
“The boy’s mother came and complained about O’Carroll pestering her son outside the family home and repeatedly trying to get access to the house at night.
After he had been sacked, she turned up at the school one day with a six-page love letter he had written to her son. It was all quite sickening.”
“In the love letter that the mother later brought to school, O’Carroll emphasised the difference between boys and women and stressed that women had to use perfume to disguise the smell they exuded.
Boys weren’t like that so they were better, the letter suggested.”
“[Tom O’Carroll] denied trying to gain access to the boy’s house but said: “I did go there to try to see the parents. I wanted to talk it over with them my feelings for the boy and his feelings for me.
Their reaction was to listen quietly and politely. But as soon as I left they told the headmaster all about it and this led to my suspension.
I couldn’t understand why, in effect they were saying my feelings for this boy were sick.”
From O’Carroll’s perspective he had been prevented from continuing as a teacher by the parents’ failure to understand his love for their son.
The headmaster received a call from the Chairman of the school governors about the parents’ complaint. Despite warnings to back off O’Carroll remained adamant his ‘relationship’ with his 13 year old pupil was unstoppable and none of the headmaster’s business, who immediately asked for O’Carroll’s resignation. When it was refused the Head sent O’Carroll to the Education Department in Coventry saying: “I’m sending O’Carroll to you and he is forbidden to be on these premises.”
An inquiry into O’Carroll’s suspension was held which he attended with a friend, although neither spoke much. The suspension was upheld and a few months later he was sacked. So as with the teacher NCCL contacted above: O’Carroll was suspended by his head teacher, a decision which was ratified by the local education department.