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Notes on a Scandal


Jean Walker
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Anyone seen the movie? I recognised every one of the staff and some of the students! Seriously, I thought it was brilliantly done. What a brave and wonderful actress Judy Dench is!

I have not been able to see it yet, but my brother has. He admitted the performance of Dench was amazing but as a former teacher, he did not find the school scenes convincing. Nor the relationship between the teacher and the school boy. He much prefered the book, as did most of the critics in the UK.

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Perhaps things have changed, but I thought the school scenes were not unlike the comprehensive I taught at near Maidstone in 1992 and there were some dodgy things going on there among the staff! I also think once you've read a book it's almost always hard to be totally satisfied with the film version.

Just last year one of our young women teachers here went to gaol for much the same thing. I pass the school on my way to work each morning. Terrible waste of a career.

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Perhaps things have changed, but I thought the school scenes were not unlike the comprehensive I taught at near Maidstone in 1992 and there were some dodgy things going on there among the staff! I also think once you've read a book it's almost always hard to be totally satisfied with the film version.

Just last year one of our young women teachers here went to gaol for much the same thing. I pass the school on my way to work each morning. Terrible waste of a career.

The critics have claimed that it is unbelievable to imagine that a very attractive female teacher would have an affair with a 15 year-old special needs boy. In fact, the book was based on a true case that took place a few years ago in the UK. After the film was released the woman teacher concerned was interviewed in the Guardian. She was indeed extremely attractive and she did have an affair with a 15 year-old special needs student. What is more, she claims she was happily married at the time (she is still with her husband).

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That's interesting! And it's also interesting that when it's the other way round it doesn't seem to be so much of a scandal. I can think of a number of cases of male teachers who've had affairs and/or married their much younger students and they often seem to be excused or it's somehow rationalised. But I think agree with a comment I read that it's probably less likely to have a detrimental affect on an adolescent boy being seduced by an older woman than the other way round for an adolescent girl. maybe I'm wrong but there seems less of a "power" thing with the older woman and more abilitty for a young man to say no.

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