“Instead of being awarded as a distinguished Vigo, it should be as a pedophile.” This is how Lauren Watson begins her testimony on her personal account Instagram about the sexual abuse that he claims to have suffered at the Labor school by Sergio Saborido Comesaña, former director of the concerted-private center. As a result of her message, a multitude of alumni of different ages from the center have expressed solidarity with Lauren and related how they too suffered abuse. The center has reacted with a statement in which it assures that it will investigate the complaints.
Lauren came from England in 2002, aged 10, to the center. Sergio Saborido was director of the Labor school for 35 years. “He lived downtown,” says Watson in the video, which reaches almost 140,000 views. During the support classes in mathematics that I gave him, “he was heating up the ground”: “he always told me that I was special and it was little by little: he touched my hair, my legs, he told me that I was very pretty, that I sit in his lap… ”.
“One day, while giving math classes, he took me to his house and let me see ‘Los Serrano’, which was forbidden in my house,” acknowledges Watson. “He told me that he was going to draw while I was lying down. When I saw the drawings, I was in them naked. I told him I was nervous and wanted to get out of there. He said to be calm ”. After insisting on wanting to escape, “he let me go, accompanied me through some passages and took my body, pressed it against the wall, grabbed me and began to kiss me on the mouth.” “And that was my first kiss, with that 85-year-old man,” laments Watson.
Sandra, another former student, has also posted a video on Instagram in solidarity with the events previously reported and denouncing the sexual harassment suffered in the center. He also claims to have witnessed “how Sergio Saborido touched Lauren’s ass.” He reports harassing attitudes and comments about the physicality of the students as well as other employees.
After what happened, Lauren Watson began not wanting to go to Labor school. He notified his mother, who told different employees of the center. “They told him it had happened for years, but he better not say anything,” Watson explains to elDiario.es in a telephone conversation. However, she regrets that this reaction has received criticism on social networks: “There are now people through networks who criticize my mother, but you have to understand that it was 2002, we were foreigners and she did not want to be involved in a trial with her daughter of 10 years and all the bad that it entails ”.
In 2019, Sergio Saborido and the Labor school received the ‘Vigués distinguished’ award from the hands of Abel Caballero, mayor of the city. “As soon as I saw it, I exploded inside and felt like it was time to tell it,” explains Lauren. “It is a secret that I have had poorly kept all my life,” he acknowledges.
Although the complaint has been made public via social networks, there is still no official legal complaint. “We are collecting information among those affected and it is a process that we want to do with head and little by little”, recognizes Watson. “There are those who denounce that abuses were suffered in the center since it was only male and was studying the EGB,” adds the affected.
Lauren claims to be receiving a lot of messages and comments on her social networks “during these three days.” She is spreading via stories, publicly or anonymously, the related messages that reach you. However, he asks for “some peace of mind”, since “this is having a lot of excitement.” “There have been mothers of current students at the center who have written to me asking who are the teachers who I think are abusing and I did not get there and I am not able to get there.”
The Labor school is a family business, and, although more testimonies of the abuses suffered years ago are emerging, “the intention with these complaints is not to break up any family.” “We only seek to point out those who were guilty,” explains Watson. “Although the center has changed and now another director is in charge with other teachers, they are things that cannot be repeated in any educational center and must be reported,” insists the affected.
The communiqué of the center
For its part, “after the comments made on social networks in recent dates”, the Labor school assures in a statement on its website that they will carry out “the appropriate inquiries, and the adoption of present and future measures so that behaviors such as those reported never occur in our educational center, being aware of the maximum sensitivity that we all have to adopt in these matters”. In addition, they highlight that Sergio Saborido is “retired, and has not played any role in the Labor College for several years”
They also claim never to have had “any knowledge or information about these alleged wrongdoing.” They say that they do not enter “to make evaluations about the perception that the affected people may have,” although they do regret “any situation that may have happened years ago.” They also convey their “concern” about the “sensationalist approach of certain media, as well as the possibly inappropriate treatment that events such as those reported may be granted through the channel of social networks. ”And they add that“ irreparably damage the image of institutions and people, without respecting their right to honor, personal and family privacy and the image itself ”.
For Laura Watson, this statement is “understandable.” “I understand that for a new director who may not even know what was happening is a big problem, but you have to assume responsibilities,” he declares. However, “they called my mother instead of me, I told them to block them because I am the one who is reporting and she has nothing to do with it,” she criticized about the center’s performance with herself after learning the facts.