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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4 Responses to THE PENALTY OF INAPPROPRIATE LOVE

  1. Anonymous says:

    A sensible response to a sad situation- the teacher should have thought more of the girls age – no excuse for that – but 15 months of prison when they were both happy- no forcing , injury , hurt, judge in my opinion has gone well over the top . The teacher has a very difficult situation to face when she comes out. Hope she is strong mentally to cope with the fact – no more teaching . Perhaps a job with an orchestra ? And the student _ will she grow out of it as most adolescent crushes do.

  2. cobweb says:

    The punishment seems heavy handed especially as 'children' are sexually active very young these days despite societies rules.It is a moot point and one that depends entirely on the character involved, there is no doubt a fifteen year old is not mature enough to be fully cognisant of all the implications of such a liason and teachers have a duty of care and are seen to be in a special catagory as authority figures, thus the seemingly harsh ruling. I agree with GG not nec. evil. I wonder how it came to be in court and I also wonder if this process might do more damage than the actual affair, especially to the young woman. I can not see the point of your comment re hetrosexuality, it sounds somewhat compromising and implies a whole lot of other agendas that could be read as politically inept in the present sexual climate of Gay Rights it also implies that Hetrosexuality is somehow more desirable or acceptable!!!???The real issue in any sexual abuse charge is about the misuse of power. Short and simple.I have found and read the newspaper report and think there is confusion in the ruling made by the Judge i.e sententancing the teacher yet allowing on going contact etc.One gets the impression that between the lines this was not a welcome case being heard, still Judge she must and I suppose no matter what the court has decided the damage is done by the parents bringing charges and making the issue public. What were they thinking.

  3. jenny2write says:

    I agree about who cares if the teacher was gay. Definitely DON'T agree that the teacher was treated too harshly. Far from it! Having had 2 daughters I remember thinking when they were 15 that they were children in adults' bodies, and indeed they are still children in law, whatever they look and feel like. I would have been concerned about them having a sexual relationship with anyone male or female at that age, specially someone so much older than them, specially if they were besotted with someone who was abusing a position of responsiblity and breaking the law. . )My main concern here is that children should be able to trust a teacher not to take advantage of them and use them for their own gratification. Someone has to be the bloody grown up after all. Someone has to say, the law is not just there to be broken when we feel our emotions getting on top of us. If it was that much of a great love affair, and not just a matter of getting laid, she could have waited till the girl left school and then declared her love. I think it was outrageous of the judge even to consider whether or not they were a "happy" couple. He (was it a he?) was backing this criminal teacher against the perfectly valid concerns of the parents who didn't want their young daughter to be illegally used by a predatory older person. He should be fired.

  4. jenny2write says:

    Oh, I don't know how that ;) got in !

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