February 23, 2018

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Teacher loves student

We mine the Free Press archives for advice that still applies today (...or doesn’t)

From Mrs. Thompson Advises by Elizabeth Thompson, published Nov. 22, 1955.

Dear Mrs. Thompson: I am 24 and very much in love with a girl of 18. The only trouble is that I am a teacher and she is a student.

We see each other quite often, but cannot be seen together in public places for fear of being seen by other members of the faculty or students. So, you see we have a very serious problem.

Do you think we should continue seeing each other, or should I take the chance of losing my job? She has told me she loves me.

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From Mrs. Thompson Advises by Elizabeth Thompson, published Nov. 22, 1955.

Dear Mrs. Thompson: I am 24 and very much in love with a girl of 18. The only trouble is that I am a teacher and she is a student.

We see each other quite often, but cannot be seen together in public places for fear of being seen by other members of the faculty or students. So, you see we have a very serious problem.

"Don't blame television if steady watching brings on headaches, drowsiness or nervous tension," reads this 1955 ad. "Experts say TV doesn't harm good eyes but can point up existing visual errors."</p>

"Don't blame television if steady watching brings on headaches, drowsiness or nervous tension," reads this 1955 ad. "Experts say TV doesn't harm good eyes but can point up existing visual errors."

Do you think we should continue seeing each other, or should I take the chance of losing my job? She has told me she loves me.

Her parents and mine know how we feel and they suggested we wait until she has finished her year at school. 

But I just can't go on seeing her every day and not being able to talk to her. What do you think we should do? We are in desperate need of your help.

— Constant Reader

Dear Reader: If this isn't meant as a joke, I would nominate you as a dead ringer for Mr. Milquetoast. I don't see how anybody with so little courage can be a good teacher.

It's ridiculous to suggest you might lose your job if you were known to be interested in the girl. I have never heard of any school board or college having iron-clad rules against pupil-teacher friendships, such as some hospitals have about nurse-intern association. In fact, I know of several cases where teachers have married pupils with the blessing of all concerned.

All you need to do is apply a little common sense. Adopt an offhand, casual manner when you see the girl on school premises, being careful never to stop to chat with her, or let her come to your office.

But surely you can meet her a block or two away and walk home with her, and make dates with her.

What if somebody does see you go into a movie or restaurant together? What if you go to dances or parties? Provided your conduct is circumspect, you couldn't possibly lose your job on that account.

The parents are right in suggesting you postpone any engagement or serious plans until her school year is up, but you don't need to put the romance on ice until then. Use your head.

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