The meeting of true minds - and bodies 2

June 5, 2008

Guidelines are about as far as an educational organisation can go to keep lecturing staff out of trouble. When I was a head of department in a UK tertiary institution, I always advised my staff to be careful about forming any close personal relationship with their students. Most took my advice in good faith. One did not and, although married, began a relationship with a female mature student whose husband was a member of the Special Boat Squadron.

When the student's husband returned from the Falklands War and discovered what had been going on, he camped outside the lecturer's home. The lecturer, whose wife had departed by this time, couldn't even leave the house for food or lectures and eventually, with the assistance of some of his colleagues, was whisked out of the house at night and put on a plane to Europe. The last I heard of him he had taken up an academic post in a European university.

Lecturers, like Paris, may flirt with their nubile charges, but they would do well to remember what happened when Menelaus sought his revenge for the "rape" of Helen. In such circumstances, the walls of the academy may not be able to protect its priapic incumbents.

David Green, Athens, Greece.

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