School knew about relationship between missing Eastbourne schoolgirl Megan Stammers and her maths teacher (From The Argus)
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School knew about relationship between missing Eastbourne schoolgirl Megan Stammers and her maths teacher
Concerns about the relationship between missing Eastbourne schoolgirl Megan Stammers and her maths teacher were already being investigated before the pair ran away together.
Bishop Bell CE School knew about the relationship as early as February after the pair were spotted holding hands on a school trip to Los Angeles.
The pupil and 30-year-old Jeremy Forrest are still missing having got on a ferry to France last Friday.
Yesterday, executive headteacher of Bishop Bell Terry Boatwright said: “Concerns had been raised.
“The school, in conjunction with the local authority, Megan’s parents, and the police had been addressing and investigating those concerns, in line with procedure, when this happened.
“That investigation will continue and we will decide what action to take. Because it is a confidential personnel procedure, we cannot comment further at this stage.”
Sussex Police yesterday said they had “only just been informed of the relationship between the pair”.
A spokeswoman said: “The first time police were notified of the relationship between the pair was last week.”
An East Sussex County Council spokesman refused to confirm whether maths teacher Mr Forrest had been suspended because “it could affect the police investigation”.
Referring to Mr Boatwright’s comments, he said: “The investigation is ongoing so we are not going to comment on the details.”
Yesterday the 15-year-old’s parents made an emotional appeal for her to get in contact , with mum, Danielle Wilson, pleading: “I just need to know that you are ok and safe.”
She added: “Meg sweetheart I am in pieces. I don't care why you have done it or are doing it. Let me know you are safe.
“Give me a phone call, text me or send me a private message on Facebook. I just need to know you are fine darling.”
Fellow pupils also knew about the relationship with a 15-year-old school friend telling the Daily Mail: "They would always text each other. He would send her messages saying things like 'I miss you' and 'I can't wait to hug you'.
“We are really angry the school did not do enough to protect Megan. And now no one knows where she is or if she's coming back.
"I don't know how it all started with Mr Forrest but to begin with she was really excited about it. She would tweet about being in love and show us his texts.
“But after it was reported she stopped and then deleted her Twitter account. She never spoke about it after that and she didn't tell any of us that she was leaving. She probably knew we would stop her."
A senior police officer has also disclosed that a message was sent to one of Megan's friends, saying that she was in France, but did not come from her phone.
Chief inspector Jason Tingley of Sussex Police said: "I can't give a specific time or date but we know there was a message passed to one of her good friends to say she had arrived safely in France."
Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101, quoting Operation Oakwood.
A dedicated telephone number and text number which can be used from abroad have been set up. They are 00441273 475432 or text +447786208090.