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'Vampire stories' teacher quits
A TEACHER who had been under investigation after complaints about her lurid' gothic vampire websites has resigned.
Samantha Goldstone has left St Christopher's C of E High School, Accrington, in what its head described as an amicable parting of the ways'.
The decision to allow Mrs Goldstone to leave without a stain on her character" has been welcomed by a council leader and a teaching union.
The mother-of-one had taught English and drama at the 900-pupil church school for three years, but agreed to stay at home in February.
Following parent complaints, education chiefs launched a probe focusing on the part-time gothic fiction writer's personal websites, and others that promoted gothic literature.
They were written under her pen name Paigan Stone which, she said, contained "adult content with vampire eroticism, violence and blood lust".
Her personal MySpace website, which has now been taken off public display, included images and links to her debut novel Gabriele Caccini, which features a 17th Century vampire who lusts after women after being drugged with ecstasy.
Lesley Ham, a Lancashire secretary with teaching union the NAS/UWT, branded the writing material "lurid".
The probe was also looking into pupil claims she read out her work to them in class.
Headteacher Alasdair Coates said the decision means Mrs Goldstone, who lives in Manchester, leaves with an unblemished record and was not subject to any disciplinary matters.
Mr Coates said: "The school and its pupils have enjoyed working with, and the friendship of Mrs Goldstone over the past four years.
"We have agreed that an amicable parting of the ways is in the best interest of all in the present circumstances.
"We know she will be missed by the school community, and wish her, and her family, all the best for the future."
Hyndburn Council leader Peter Britcliffe, whose daughter attends the school in Queen's Road West, Accrington, said: "This is a really sad story, but this is probably the best outcome.
"There are great sensitivities surrounding working with children and for very good reason, and I think she will have struggled to maintain the respect and authority if she had returned."
Lancashire secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, Les Turner, said: "Sometimes things happen which make a teacher's position untenable and this is the best outcome for all concerned, especially the teacher who leaves without a stain on her character."
A Lancashire County Council spokesman said the matter was now closed. Hundreds of messages in support poured in on our website for Mrs Goldstone, whose vampire novel appears alongside horror legend Stephen King in The Good Book Guide, after the investigation was made public.
Mrs Goldstone said last night: "I have got nothing to say. I am sorry."