1. wolferz
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    wolferz Member

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    Student-Teacher Relationship: sexual or a legal plot?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by wolferz, Nov 26, 2009.

    Do you think it would be more interesting to read a story about a sexual romance between a student and teacher, OR a story that involves a teacher being accused of having sex with a student (when they actually did not, and the student has undiagnosed Asperger's, bad home life, etc.)??
     
  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I think it'd be interesting to see a romance between a student and teacher...if they are somewhat close in age.

    For example, a university professor is fourty-three and he/she meets a student that's around fourty as well.

    Anything less than that would be just disturbing. I mean, I had a highschool teacher that was in his 20s, but the students he teachs that are early/mid/late teens, they're pratically CHILDREN compared to him and totally not right if he starts dating them.
     
  3. WanderingStar
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    WanderingStar Member

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    I think it would be interesting in either case- both scenario's having the possibility to draw out strong emotions from the reader.

    Seems that Asperger's syndrome in a teacher could be quite interesting. It would maybe even be inspiration for those who have the same condition. - oh oops, read that wrong. I double checked and see it is the student who has the syndrome. That would be interesting too, and maybe easier for the reader to digest.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Either scenario depends on your ability as a writer. Both have the possibility of drawing readers in assuming the writing is clear. But be sure to realize that you can't please everyone and that some people are going to dislike it no matter how well you write.

    Bottom line is that either scenario has the potential of being interesting.
     
  5. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    maybe you could make the student 17/18, and the teacher in their early 20s. The student is all flirty but the teacher is Mr./Mrs. Moral America. They part at graduation, nothing ever happened between them. They could meet years later and start a relationship.
     
  6. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    As already noted by others, either scenario has great possibilities. The real question is which appeals to you more? That's the one you need to write.
     
  7. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    To me that sounds completely middle-of-the-moral-road and utterly pointless. Like making a war movie where nobody gets hurt. What's the point then?

    If you wanna go somewhere with your writing, go all the way. That's my philosophy. If the teacher and student are practically the same age, then why not just write a regular student-student or teacher-teacher romance?

    Vladimir Nabokov wasn't trying for the middle of the road when he wrote Lolita. Imagine if he had...

    My advice to the OP is to not let yourself become restricted by what prudes may think of your writing, and write what you want to write. You'd have to try really hard anyway, to push the moral boundary of what's been done before in fiction.
     
  8. Goldie
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    I've heard of and seen a lot of stories where the teacher is wrongly accused. Quite frankly, I'm tired of it. I had a high school teacher in his 20s (though he was married) and all the girls adored him. I'd like to see a book where there's a meaningful relationship between a teacher and a student that's challenged by society. With or without the Asperger's Syndrome.

    Along the lines of the teacher wrongly accused, it's most often a man. I know it happens with female teachers, but you most hear about the male. It might be interesting to see a relationship that blossoms between an eager male student and a reluctant female teacher.
     
  9. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    I remember (while working as a science teacher) one staff meeting when we were warned about a new (11 year old!) student "She is very sexually aware, and knows how to make false accusations". I was *so* glad I wasn't teaching her... Your second suggestion (false accusation against a teacher) is common in real life, and although the vast majority are either unproven or proved completely false, mud does tend to stick. Search the newspaper websites for examples, you'll find plenty. I don't know personally of any stories though, but heard about plenty of people it had happened to. To avoid these things, teachers learn to be very careful - if you have to talk to a student alone, leave the door open - even if it's a particularly "difficult" pupil, ask the science technician to be tidying up your lab while you're talking to the pupil so if they accuse anything there's another adult witness... Unfortunately today's society means you have to think of covering your back.

    Incidentally, the student's "bad home life" seems to be a common thread in the vast majority of these cases.

    Anyway, it's been often said here - almost any story idea would work (certainly both of those you posted). The success or otherwise is in the telling.
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I would like to point at my sig, but change it a bit:

    "Of course you're free to write whatever the heck you want. It's your book, not theirs."
     
  11. Destin
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    Destin Senior Member

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    Step on some toes. Shake things up. Make it a relationship between like a 16 year old and a 43 year old. Think of the comic glory when she takes him home to meet her parents.
    No author I've ever heard of has had success writing boring and morally acceptable nonsense. People want to read about things they can't go out and experience themselves on any given day.
     
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  12. wolferz
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    wolferz Member

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    I agree with what you said.
    Ironically, it was my intention to have the teacher be quite older...in his 40s or 50s, while the student is only a teenager. So good thinking!

    I think the male teacher probably will "do" something with the student, though I'm not sure what. But essentially, it is blown up into a much bigger deal than it needs to be.
     
  13. Destin
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    Destin Senior Member

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    Excellent, I'm glad to hear it.

    Here's an interesting thought... what if the teacher was the woman?

    It would take some out-of-the-box characters to make it seem real, but hey, you're way out of the box already.
     
  14. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    The first one's already been done--can't remember the name of it, though. The 2nd one sounds like it could get melodramatic. I'd go with the first one, but be sure to develop your characters really well. Make them interesting and nuanced.
     
  15. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    Or teacher & pupil were... or neither.
     
  16. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Make sure that you are not choosing a scenario just because it's controversial. I find that the more controversial the subject is, the harder it is to write about. There is always the possibility the writer misinterprets something or gets something wrong. Rather, make sure to choose a scenario you are comfortable writing.
     
  17. TimAyro
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    TimAyro Member

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    I'd like to see a story perhaps in the view of a student. But nothing too young.

    Maybe a student in college at about 22 years old and a professor at about 30.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    pay attention to thirdwind and thewordsmith!... plus ioalair's and link's bottom lines... it all depends on how you develop the concept and how well you can write...
     
  19. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Also consider, who is the audience for this project? That would have an impact on the story and direction.

    Terry
     
  20. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    In my opinion this whole plot line has been done to death and is very boring, especially the lying student, teacher the victim court drama blah blah blah.

    I would suggest make the age gap massive. Anything else is middle of the road as pointed out by others and boring. You need to effect the reader, let them have an emotional reaction to your story, not avoid it.

    So say teacher is 55, sad, lonely, approaching retirement, the student 12, 13, 14, exciting, youthful, full of energy.


    Now make them the same sex and have a homosexual affair. Where both are really in love. Maybe make it an us vs them story. Its how the rest of the world reacts, demonfying them, bullying them.

    Maybe you can twist it a bit more and make the cliche more original?????
     
  21. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why on earth would a student falsely accuse a teacher?
    Why would a beautiful 16yr old WANT an affair with someone old enough to be his/her mother/father?
    Why would a teacher risk losing his/her reputation/job to have an affair with a student?

    THAT'S the story to me, and taken from this angle it could be interesting.

    IMO the story is not the 'romantic' stuff, which in situations like this nearly always verges on the sordid and in many countries is illegal, even if the student isn't underage (there's usually a clause written into the teacher's contract).
     
  22. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    It could be interesting to see it portrayed as a very genuine and innocent love between two souls, who are doomed to tragedy because society would persecute them in every way.
     
  23. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Might I direct you to Zoe Heller's Notes On A Scandal - a rather charming and dangerous account told from the perspective of the friend of a middle-aged female teacher who falls for one of her 16 y/o-ish male students. Should make for interesting comparions in your story.
     
  24. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    This is a bit of a sweeping statement do you not think? what if the teacher is 21 and the student 18 that’s not a big difference and nothing wrong (other than the obvious student teacher thing) with that relationship, and why would these few years mean that they are just children. I myself have been in a relationship with a ten year age gap, and there was no general feeling that one or the other were too immature, and i know of many age gap relationships that have worked, the issue isn’t about the age of the people involved, (who i am assuming are all of the legal consenting age as otherwise that’s leading the story down a different path, not that that’s a problem take Lolita for example a classic piece of literature) but more about the whole issue of the relationship being between a person of responsibility and someone they are supposed to be responsible for, which raises all sorts of moral issues, but age doesn’t need to come into it. (if we are working on the same basis then why is it accepted for a 14 year old girl to fall in love with a 100+ year old vampire just because he looks 15?)
     
  25. wolferz
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    wolferz Member

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    I appreciate everyone's suggestions! Lots of great ideas and feedback.

    So far, my ideas were to create a plot based on this young female student (prolly around 15 or 16) who becomes infatuated with her much older male teacher (around his late 40s or 50s). This student has undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome and basically she is very socially unaware and does not understand a lot of social appropriateness (the symptoms of Asperger's in girls are really different than in boys, so it often is missed or not known). She is lonely, has few friends, and intense anxiety about certain things. For example, she has a fear of telling people that she needs to go to the bathroom or of using public restrooms. It causes her a lot of anxiety and problems. Her home life is not great, her father and mother neglect her emotionally.

    The teacher is probably going to be widowed. He might have a few grown up kids, probably sons. He is sort of lost and lonely too. In the classroom, he is intimidating to most students and doesn't let others get close to him. He has one good friend who is also a teacher at the same high school, so I think he shares things with this character. The teacher is also afraid he is losing his attractiveness or appeal, obviously he has no sex life, his wife is dead, he is afraid to move on, etc. He is sort of stuck in a stalemate.

    The student and teacher first encounter each other on some type of field trip or activity. She has to pee desperately and he notices her squirming and uncomfortable position. He approaches her about it and sort of demands that she go to the bathroom before she has an accident (while thinking it is really odd). And basically, he 'helps' her admit that she needs to pee and then they both hurry to find a bathroom. But this student develops an infatuation with her teacher. She confuses his helpfulness or kindness as love. She sees him as a fatherly figure. It begins emotionally, but may turn into a small physical attraction. She eventually confesses her love for him when they are alone in his classroom - she cries hysterically and he is in shock. Afterward, he contemplates informing the guidance counselor, but he rethinks this option and decides to keep it between them.

    Eventually, they develop a friendship. He realizes how horrible her home life is and he allows her to stay in his home with him. One night, she wakes him up from his sleep and crawls into bed with him. She doesn't want anything sexual, she wants him to hold her. She wants to know that he cares about her and will take care of her. They fall asleep in the same bed.

    The teacher knows that she is 'different' but doesn't understand exactly what it is. But he attempts to help her develop more social awareness and corrects her for doing inappropriate things. He helps her get rid of her anxiety about peeing in public, etc. (not going to lie, the urination part might actually become some type of path for them to experience a semi-sexual encounter). The teacher may begin to fall for her in a different way he ever felt, and he learns a lot of life lessons from her bizarre behavior and bluntness.

    The teacher might begin to see her in a sexual way as time goes on. For instance, if they sleep in the same bed, he might wake up with an erection and she becomes startled or confused about what it is. (she has no sexual experience and knows little about it). Or he might walk in on her while she is masturbating, or vice versa.

    He will "do" something with her, I dont know if it will only be kissing or some type of foreplay, but he just gets caught in the moment. And then very soon after that, someone from the school suspects that something romantic is occuring and police are informed. The teacher will be questioned and a huge mess will be made....
    I don't know what will happen then.
     

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