Anne-Marie Robinson appears in CBC’s ‘The Banned Teacher,’ a podcast that tells the story of her high school years and her interactions with her former music teacher, William Douglas Walker. The wounds of her past were reopened several years later due to a chance encounter when she saw Walker once again. Tired of not being able to find favorable results through the legal route, Robinson decides to take help from the world of media to share her story and others who have allegedly had similar interactions with Walker. If you are curious about what she is up to these days, worry not because we have your back.
Who is Anne-Marie Robinson?
The year was 1977, and Anne-Marie Robinson was a student at Eastern High School of Commerce. During her first-ever high school trip, she remembers drinking alcohol with other teenage members of the band. She then remembers being in Walker’s hotel room while he stood over her in black underwear. “What I see now, given the fact that I was drunk with the alcohol he gave me, as a rape,” she explained. “I remember waking up the next morning and being really scared.”
According to Robinson, the first encounter in a hotel room in Belleville, Ontario, led to many more interactions of similar nature between herself and Walker in places like hotel rooms, in his car, and even in the closet of the school’s music room. “I remember it being humiliating. I never resisted because I was under his control,” she said, thinking about the past. Walker even introduced Robinson to the Royal Regiment of Canada Band during this time. “For someone who was raised by a single mother on social assistance, I think I got paid $50 a concert, which in the 70s was incredible,” she confessed.
This allegedly continued while she was in grades 10 and 11 before Robinson quit school to escape her teacher. “No one from the school asked why, which is surprising since I had good marks,” Robinson shared. She added that no one in her home also questioned her decision as she had taken up a job, and the financial help she brought quelled most of the questions. She also quit the royal band around the same time though she has since confessed that the fact that she was the only female in the band should have raised some concerns with the authorities.
Almost four decades later, Robinson has apparently suppressed the memories of her high school years and decided to join a local community band in Ottawa, Ontario, on her daughter’s insistence. However, when she made her way into her first rehearsal in 2014, she stopped in her tracks upon seeing Walker there with his trombone. “It was shocking,” Robinson said. “I had imagined him as being so much older than me that he had to be dead.” The encounter apparently brought back many shocking memories for Robinson, who then decided to get some form of closure by meeting Walker over coffee.
“It was a disastrous meeting for me,” Robinson confessed. “All I wanted from him was a heartfelt apology, but I particularly wanted him to acknowledge that I was a child at the time and he was an adult.” However, her former high school teacher allegedly claimed that she had been the love of his life, making Robinson feel like she was going to fall into the same pattern as before. “I started having panic attacks and anxiety. I was diagnosed with delayed-onset PTSD, and then I went on a long struggle to try to recover,” she shared.
Where is Anne-Marie Robinson Now?
Following her meeting with Walker, Robinson’s mental health seemingly declined, and she even quit her job and took early retirement. “I couldn’t be Anne-Marie Robinson, the deputy minister, and that girl. We just could not coexist,” she explained. “Nothing kept me safe from him. It just collapsed around me. I kind of became that… Grade 10 girl who he had manipulated.” Prior to the fateful meeting, Robinson had served as a Deputy Minister and the President of the Public Service Commission of Canada, having worked with parliamentarians, senators, and the Ottawa media before.
However, the blast from her past apparently brought major changes to her personality. Ultimately, Robinson decided to file a report against Walker, and the Toronto police ended up filing historical sex crime charges against the former high school teacher in 2019. The accusation against Walker was limited to a single count of rape pertaining to the hotel room incident in 1977 when Walker first had relations with Robinson. However, the case was never sent to trial.
As it turns out, Justice J.C. Moore was of the opinion that the relationship between the students and the teacher had involved “consensual sexual activity, spending much of their free time together and talk of love and marriage.” “While most would view that as highly improper and wrong at the time, it did not fit into the category of being a criminal offense,” Moore stated though Robinson vehemently denied this, pointing out the power imbalance between herself and Walker in the whole situation.
Though Robinson seemingly remembered several things from the night in Belleville, Robinson stated that she could remember explicitly saying “no” to Walker, leading to the latter being discharged. While Walker never offered any apologies to Robinson, he did share some of his explanations with CBC. “There are no excuses and no justification for my behavior. I was irresponsible, immature, and arrogant. I am so sorry to have involved these outstanding and courageous women in relationships which were inappropriate in all ways,” he shared in one of the notes.
Walker added, “I understand the negative effect that this has had on them.” However, that did not soothe Robinson. It was not long before Robinson and CBC found Jeanie McKay, another one of Walker’s former students who had filed her complaint against him with the police in the late 1990s. Due to the findings of the Ontario College of Teachers, Walker was fined $2,000 for having “violated one of the most sacred trusts possible in the student relationship … and his actions in this regard were reprehensible.” He was also banned from taking up a teaching position ever again.
Having exhausted her legal resources, Robinson and McKay have teamed up to share their account of their high school years with Walker. Their efforts have led to 15 different women sharing their own stories involving the same man, much to the duos’ horror and satisfaction, who remain eager to expose the man who has apparently groomed them during a vulnerable time of their lives. The two have support from their loved ones, and many of their friends shared their recollections of the events, even if they confessed to having never been in a situation similar to Robinson or McKay when it came to Walker.
Read More: Where is William Douglas Walker Now?