In CBC’s ‘The Banned Teacher,’ the listeners are told the story of a high school music teacher named William Douglas Walker. Having worked as a teacher for decades, the educator is accused of having taken sexual advantage of many of his students over the years, some of whom have decided to stop him in his tracks and expose his actions to the world. Given the severity of the accusations laid against him, it is only natural for people to wonder where Walker is these days, and we are here to answer the same!
Who is William Douglas Walker?
Prior to his years as an educator, William Douglas Walker was a military man who started to play for the Royal Regiment of Canada Band when he was only a teenager. Due to his skillset, he was able to climb up the ranks and become an assistant conductor and a warrant officer. Despite his career as a high school teacher, Walker remained a part of the band, which is often referred to as The Royals, for a long time and would go on to recruit many of his high school students to the band.
From 1974 to 2000, Walker served as a high school teacher for seven schools in and around Toronto, Ontario. These institutions include Port Credit Secondary School, Eastern High School of Commerce, Markham District High School, Milliken Mills High School, Vaughan Secondary School, King City Secondary School, and Stouffville District Secondary School. However, the official records do not give an explicit reason as to why the music teacher switched places so often.
Quite recently, one of Walker’s former high school students accused him of having groomed her and taken advantage of her in a sexual manner. Anne-Marie Robinson was a student at Eastern High School of Commerce who claims that her former teacher took advantage of her for the first time in 1977 when she was out with her school’s band for her very first trip to Belleville, Ontario. At night, Robinson had apparently been consuming alcohol with others and found herself in bed with Walker, whom she distinctly remembers standing over her in his black underwear.
“What I see now, given the fact that I was drunk with the alcohol he gave me, as a rape,” Robinson said. “I remember waking up the next morning and being really scared.” However, this would not be the end for Robinson as, according to her, Walker would go on to have sexual relations with her several times during her 10th and 11th grades in places like hotel rooms, closets, and cars. “I remember it being humiliating. I never resisted, because I was under his control,” she confessed
In order to separate herself from the situation, Robinson admitted to switching schools. Another of Walker’s former students who have made similar accusations is Jeanie McKay, a student at Markham District High School, where Walker took up the role of the head of the music program in 1979 when McKay was in Grade 10. At the age of 16, she ended up sleeping with her teacher in his car after band practice. “What a hideous human to take advantage, because there I was, a young, hormonal kid,” she proclaimed while sharing her story.
Indeed, McKay confessed to marking a notch in her bed every time Walker would have intercourse with her, which allowed her to share with the world that her former music teacher had relations with her a total of 56 times. Many of Walker’s colleagues, including Barrie Hodgins, a former member of The Royals and the staff of Eastern Commerce, confessed that he found Walker’s behavior to be wrong, given the kind of attention he paid to students like Robinson and McKay. “I warned Doug [Walker] about doing what he was doing,” Hodgins said. “I didn’t know how far it was going.”
Another concerned colleague was Peter Samuelson, the head of music at Stouffville District Secondary School from 1987 to 1988. “I said, ‘Doug, you gotta stop that,'” he shared. “I said, ‘No physical contact.’ To me, that is a big thing, you don’t touch girls.” There were also some students like Jackie Short, who allegedly raised their concerns about Walker’s behavior with the administration but claimed that nothing ever came to fruition.
Other instances of complaints filed against Walker include one from a concerned father in 1975 who shared with the principal the nature of the sexual relationship between his teenage daughter and Walker. The year 1987 saw a girl telling her principal and a York Region District School Board superintendent that her music teacher had slept with her during the spring band trip, though she alims that no actions were ever taken and instead she was blamed for the whole situation.
Where is William Douglas Walker Now?
As of writing, it seems like Walker is still a free man who works as a musician. He left The Royals some time ago, but the reason behind his departure remains uncertain, with The Department of National Defence claiming that no official complaints were filed against Walker while he was part of the regiment. In 1997, McKay would again see her former music teacher after many years during a trip organized by Disney for music teachers. It was while she was about to climb on a tour bus at Los Angeles International Airport that she once again saw Walker and was apparently horrified that he was still a teacher.
“If that could affect me 15 years later, I knew that if it did that to me, a perfectly competent adult, I had to do something about it,” McKay confessed and shared that she had filed a complaint with the York Regional Police. Due to Walker’s continued position as a teacher at the time, the authorities had to alert the Children’s Aid Society and the York Region District School Board, both of which cited a lack of enough evidence as the reason why they refused to take any action, leaving the police also not to file any charges.
However, the one organization that kept their investigation ongoing was the Ontario College of Teachers, with Jackie Short sending her diary entries and other students sending more photographs and information. McKay also shared a picture of the notches that had been marked on her teenage bed permanently. After Walker was made aware of the accusations levied against him, he resigned in July 1999 from his post as a teacher, though some of his supporters claimed that the former high school teacher that he was leaving due to an affair from the past.
In 2001, the Ontario College of Teachers fined him $2,000 because he had “violated one of the most sacred trusts possible in the student relationship … and his actions in this regard were reprehensible.” The former teacher also agreed never again to take up a role as an educator. Not aware of the former case, Robinson also filed a case against Walker after seeing him again in 2014 at a community band practice.
Robinson’s complaint led the Toronto police to lay the charges of historical sex crime against Walker, though the case was seemingly never linked to the one filed by McKay. The charge against the former high school teacher was limited to one count of rape, but the case was dismissed before a trial could occur, with the presiding Justice stating that the relationship between Robinson and McKay had seemingly evolved into a consensual one with a possibility of love and marriage, which is something that Robinson strongly disagreed with, referring to the power imbalance in the situation.
Read More: Where is Anne-Marie Robinson Now?