THE PENALTY OF INAPPROPRIATE LOVE



I didn`t need to read Germaine Greer`s article in The Times re. the jail sentence imposed on the music teacher, dubbed the `Jazz Lady,`for her involvement with a 15 year old pupil. I was already angry!

Stand up anyone who did not have a crush on a teacher which may, or may not, have resulted in an affair. And if it didn`t come to anything, I bet you wished it had!

I was not wholly innocent of wishful thoughts myself. There was Reginald Montgomery in my class. Mad about me he was. Gave me a ring he`d bought at Woolworths. But I was hopelessly in love with our tall, erudite history teacher Mr.H. aged 25, who was in no way interested in me. Alas!

The point is that Goddard, the 26 year old teacher, who had never had a same sex relationship, embarked on the affair without considering the possible consequences.

But as Professor Greer has said, she was foolish, but not evil. Lesbianism is not evil. God made male and female. It`s not like a box of chocolates with caramel, strawberry and peppermint centres. The choice is between two.

In sentencing Ms Goddard to 15 months and registering her on the sex offenders list, the judge has ruined her career. Aided by
The Times in publishing a front page picture of her.
Anyone who has read Mourir d`Aimer by Gabrielle Russier: the poignant account of an affair between a teacher in rural France and a 17 year old student boy (she committed suicide in 1969) will forgive first love misdemeanours.

These two in UK – the music teacher and her student – will never in a million years become a fixture. Both may even go the heterosexual route in later life.

It`s a sad story, just the wrong time for both. We must hope the case will be reviewed so Goddard regains her freedom: albeit the conviction will make her way a rocky path.

c.Christine Osborne Image: www.copix.co.uk

About Travels with My Hat

Australian photojournalist and author. Used London as a base for nearly forty years while freelancing in the Middle East, Arabian peninsular, Africa and South Asia. Have written and illustrated more than a dozen books and travel guides. Operates a well regarded religious images stock photo library: www.worldreligions.co.uk. Live in Leura in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
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