Herald comment: Jeremy Forrest – neither a Romeo or a paedophile, but a naive, misguided man

Published June 28, 2013 by JS2

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The Jeremy Forrest court case has divided opinion; from those who believe this was a classic Romeo & Juliet love story, to those who have branded the Bishop Bell maths teacher as a paedophile – a tale of a predator snaring his unsuspecting victim.

 

This story is neither.

Instead, this is a sad saga where there are victims across both sets of families who have clearly suffered over the past nine months from an ordeal which has made headlines worldwide.

One can have no sympathy for Jeremy Forrest who, as the judge, Michael Lawson QC, said when jailing the 30-year-old teacher to five-and-a-half years in prison, had ignored the cardinal rule of teaching by entering into a relationship with a pupil.

There can simply be no excuse, not just legally but morally.

There is little doubt that the relationship was consensual, and in likelihood will continue to flourish, but that does not make it right.

Forrest presents himself as a naive and immature individual whose life has been changed forever by his foolish actions.

Clearly there are lessons to be learned from this, particularly at Bishop Bell school and at other schools to where safeguarding pupils’ security is paramount.

Jeremy Forrest is no monster, no pervert, he is not a paedophile. He is a misguided man who will have plenty of time to think on his actions.

 

eastbourne herald

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