My boyfriend, 17, is dating a 27 year old teacher – I’m really worried but her parents say it’s fine
A concerned student has revealed how her 17-year-old boyfriend started dating a man 10 years her senior at the school where she works.
Over the weekend, the anonymous friend, believed to be from the UK, wrote on the Graham Norton Radio Show to ask the presenter and suffering aunt Maria McErlane for help.
They explained, ‘I’m a 17-year-old girl and I have a friend the same age who works as an after-school cleaner at a local primary school.
“She is going to Sixth Form and is still 17. She recently started dating a teacher at the primary school where she works, who is 27 years old.”
The concerned student explained how her 17-year-old boyfriend just started dating a teacher who is 10 years her senior at the school where she works
The concerned friend went on to explain that the teen’s parents are “fine” with the relationship.
However, the anonymous letter writer and her wider group feel there has been a ‘complete misuse of his power’.
She continued, “I think this is completely inappropriate as my friend is still a minor. Besides, the teacher hasn’t even worked at the school for a year.’
Desperate for advice, they closed the letter by saying, “As a concerned friend, what should I do?”
Graham Norton and Maria McErlane (pictured in 2015) tried to advise the anonymous listener whether she should report the teacher or let the relationship run its course
Aunt Maria admitted it wasn’t a well-defined problem, saying, “This is a tough one Graham, because yes, it’s morally and ethically unreliable.
“She is (legally able to give consent) at age 17, but she is also considered a minor. I think the problem area is with him.
What is Clare’s law? How to find out about your partner’s domestic violence past thanks to father’s campaign
Clare Wood, 36, was strangled by an ex
Clare’s Law was created in 2014 after a campaign by Michael Brown, whose daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend.
The initiative, officially called the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, was designed to provide people with information that could protect them from a potentially abusive situation.
The scheme allows the police to release information about a partner’s history of domestic violence or violent acts.
Clare Wood, 36, was strangled and set on fire by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton at her home in Salford, Greater Manchester, in February 2009.
The mother of a child had met Appleton on Facebook, unaware of his horrific history of violence against women, including repeated harassment, threats and the kidnapping at the knife point of one of his ex-girlfriends.
“Of all the people he could date, he chose someone who is still in school—albeit not at his school.”
If the student and her friends wanted to end the relationship, Maria said approaching his school would be one course of action.
However, Graham suggested that the teen’s parents might allow the relationship in the hopes that it would fizzle out quickly.
He added: “They know that if they try to ban this or fight against it, they will turn into star-crossed lovers and it will take much longer than it should.
‘This teacher is a bad UN, I’d say. Because it’s very murky for a teacher to date a 17-year-old.’
But since her legal guardians know about their relationship, Graham added, “I don’t think there’s anything you can do to fix it other than let it run its course.”
After presenting the problem to his listeners, Graham said the dilemma became something of a “hornet’s nest” for people.
One listener responded, “Your friend may have access to Clare’s law, which monitors potential abusers.” But it’s up to her.
“Her parents seem to agree, but maybe they’re playing the long game here.”
A teacher urged her to take action, responding, “I can see very clearly that this 27-year-old man who is dating a Sixth Former is flat out wrong.
“All his security training will have made that clear — even if common sense doesn’t.
“Maybe he’s working with other 17-year-olds — does he see them as potential partners, too?”
“Even if she turns 18 at her own school, protections are still in place and her employer has a duty of protection to her while she works there. He would know this too.
“I’m not sure what your listener would do, but if it were me as a fellow teacher, I’d feel obligated to discreetly let his school know…for my own conscience.”
Meanwhile, a third said, “You have to let it run its course. Trying to interfere can put a strain on the friendship and you may lose a friend. The more you are told not to do something, the more you want to do it…”