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My high school teacher hit on me — and I’m done keeping quiet

Ten years ago, Samantha Farber, now a 25-year-old Manhattan resident, tells The Post she was involved in an inappropriate relationship with her teacher at Long Island private school Lawrence Woodmere Academy. While their relationship wasn’t sexual, the experience haunted her for years. When a different teacher at the same school, Daniel McMenamin, was arrested for allegedly raping a student, the news brought back many of the conflicted feelings Farber had at the time, and Farber agreed to share her story with The Post’s Lauren Steussy. A lawyer for the school made the following comment: “At Lawrence Woodmere Academy, academic excellence and student safety have always been and will continue to be top priorities.” The teacher had no comment.

I see stories every day about teachers who have relationships with students — in the news, in movies. And you might be wondering how a teacher could ever cross a line like that. I can tell you, because I experienced it front and center. I was the student the teacher fell for.

I met him when I was 14 years old. He was the “cool” teacher — close with all the students. But as the school year went on, only he and I got closer. We would spend a lot of time together in his classroom during and between classes. We had inside jokes about the Red Sox and the Yankees: If the Red Sox won, I would get him a sandwich; if they lost, he would have to get me iced coffee.

By the end of the year, when school was letting out for the summer, he passed me a note, written in marker on a tissue. I rewrote it in my journal: “Deeply and truly you are what makes me want to get out of bed each and every day. I cannot picture my life without you.”

I remember thinking it sounded like a wedding vow. But I didn’t dwell on it, and went on with my summer without seeing or talking to him.

When I returned to school in the fall, I’d visit him between and after classes. He would ask me about boys I was interested in, and told me when he thought I looked nice — often when I wore skirts or low-cut tops. One day, he looked at me and said he wished I was older. I remember feeling uncomfortable, but didn’t want to say anything. I was conflicted: I wasn’t developing feelings, but at that age, I did like the attention. And even though I was uncomfortable with the way he talked to me, I didn’t want our relationship to change. I didn’t want to make things awkward, because everyone liked him.

When summer came, he gave me an email address. It didn’t have his name in it, or anything identifying about him.

“How else am I going to talk to you all summer?” he said.

The first email from him showed up four minutes later. With the click of a button, he basically said he no longer considered the boundaries of student and teacher to apply to us.

He emailed me every day. And I emailed back every day.

“Wish I was there tanning with you,” he wrote on June 4.

“Why can’t we just be together,” he wrote on July 7.

Once, when I told him I was getting ready for a dinner, he asked me to send him photos of myself. I told him no. “That’s where I draw the line.”

When school started up again in the fall, it only got worse. He was the adviser of one of the clubs I belonged to. On school trips, he would sit behind me on the bus and hold my hand through the gap in the seats. Between classes, he would massage my shoulders, or put his hand on my thigh when he was sitting next to me at the computers. Once, in front of a group of students, he joked about going down on a girl, and looked directly at me.

My friends had started to notice. One said, “Do you notice the way he looks at you?” But I never told them about the emails. [The Post has reached out to two friends of Farber’s. One, a former classmate, doesn’t recall seeing the emails, but remembers the two being flirtatious and spending a lot of time together. The other, who attended a different school, says that Farber told her about the relationship in 2012.]

Physically, I was in control — it never got more sexual than that. But emotionally, I was completely out of control. I wanted to break things off with him, but he just kept emailing.

Then, several months into the school year, when I was 16, he ended our relationship abruptly. “People are starting to question why you’re not in my class and taking tests,” I remember him saying. “Maybe you should start doing some work.”

But I would have failed his tests, because he hadn’t been making me do any work. We had a deal, I thought: I would dress a certain way, look a certain way, answer to him, go and say hi to him. In return, he would let me not take tests or turn in homework.

Facing the possibility of failure, I decided to come forward to the school administrators.

In January, I brought them every single email, every single handwritten note. The school said they would have to look into it. The whole time, we were in school together, with him knowing that I told on him. Any time I saw him, I would start shaking and crying. He wouldn’t even look at me.

 had multiple mental disorders — anxiety, fear of abandonment, an eating disorder and depression — and for years after high school, I went to therapy three times a week. I haven’t been able to hold onto serious relationships. My education also took a hit: I barely graduated college, partly because of the trauma I was dealing with and partly because just going to class was triggering. I had a really hard time connecting with people of authority.

Then, when I saw Mac [McMenamin, who taught at the school while Farber was a student] had been arrested, I felt sick to my stomach. I knew that if the school had listened to me years ago when I told them a teacher of theirs had crossed a line, maybe Mac wouldn’t have had the ability to do what he did.

At the time, I never knew why the relationship was wrong. And while the school had a responsibility to protect me, I wish someone could have told me, “There’s no fairy-tale ending. Tell someone who will listen,” and don’t wait, like I did.

If it’s something you’re keeping secret, there’s a reason. You should tell someone. It’s one thing to have a crush, but if you feel that a teacher is giving you special attention, ask yourself, “Is this something you feel is appropriate for a child?”

And I want parents to know that just because it’s school, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. And just because it’s a teacher, it doesn’t mean they should be fully trusted.

Maybe nothing my teacher did was “that bad,” but what’s bad is bad, and that’s it.

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