Monday 24 June 2013 16.38 BST
JF: child protection experts warn against romanticising case
"NSPCC says media must be careful [sic] of presenting relationship between teacher and pupil as love story [which is exactly what it is]
JF, who was jailed for five and a half years after starting a sexual relationship with a child.
To glance at some headlines, a reader might think this was a conventional love story: "I still love him"; "He's wonderful, I'll fight for him". But this was, child protection professionals agree, a relationship built around abuse [sic].
JF, a maths teacher who turns 31 on Tuesday, was jailed for five and a half years last week for beginning a sexual relationship with a pupil shortly after her 15th birthday and escaping to France with the girl when their connection was discovered.
Post-verdict coverage has shone a spotlight on the many ethical and regulatory difficulties of such cases. While newspapers have remained condemnatory of F himself, interviews with the girl, now 16 [legal age], and with F's family, traced a distinctly romantic narrative, with talk of her visiting her ex-teacher in prison, sticking by him and even future marriage.
Beyond the unequal basis of their relationship, the court heard that the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is psychologically vulnerable [sic] and from a difficult background [sic]. Her decision to side with F and his family has seen her cut contact altogether with her own mother.
Stories, primarily in the Sun and Mail titles, detailing her feelings for F, including reprints of emotionally charged letters, were "a concern", said Jon Brown, who leads on child protection issues [sic] for the NSPCC charity. "There's an awful lot of work that still needs to be done with the media in explaining [lying to] and, in a sense, educating [brainwashing] journalists so they do have a better understanding [sic] of the reality [sic] of these relationships," he said.""
JUNE 25, 2013
The NSPCC – Suppressing the Truth
"They are deeply upset.
Journalists need re-programming ’educating’, so that they don’t report what people say to them.
Reporting factual statements is unhelpful to the NSPCCs agenda.
This morning they are waving clause 6 of the PCC code, not to mention clause 16, in front of the terrified journalists and warning of the direst consequences. The Guardian is so upset on their behalf that they are providing links to both the Daily Mail and The Sun (unheard of!) so that their readers can see exactly what such irresponsible journalism looks like without the Guardian having to sully itself by printing similar off-message words.
What could have been said to provoke the NSPCC so? Has Harriet the Harridan been advocating paedophilia again? Did David Cameron issue a statement saying the NSPCC were a waste of space? Is Chanel 4 making a new version of ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here’ from Lewes prison? Is Haley the only male actor left in Coronation Street? Nothing so minor unfortunately.
A young woman has declared her love for the man in her life. He has been sent to prison and she has stated that she will stand by him, wait for him.
And those dastardly right wing journalists have reported that she said that! Shock horror! This, in the NSPCCs view is reprehensible. It is ‘romanticising’ what could have been a donation winning situation for the NSPCC. It’s, it’s, unethical, that’s what it is, it’s unethical, they splutter…in fact they go so far as to claim that these journalists are only reporting fact – in an effort to sell newspapers. Who-da-thought-it?
“But then there’s an ethical issue which is broader than the code: are papers talking about this in a responsible way?”
Ideally, the NSPCC would have liked to see the young woman, an adult, illustrated by a pixilated image of an eight year old child in a winsomely too long nightdress clutching a teddy bear. JF, for it is he, illustrated by ‘picture posed by an actor’ – preferably a stern faced older man with a slight leer exposing yellow teeth, in mortar and gown, brandishing a cane. If only the regulation existed that they are calling for, they would have supplied the prose, written by a computer programmed to insert the words ‘child abuse’ into every sentence, and liberally sprinkled with keywords like ‘authoritarian figure’ and ‘vulnerable child’.
Unfortunately for them, the regulation does not yet exist, nor is Ms Mega Speech-Impediment (apologies to the young woman, not very PC but it is PCC) minded to go along with their charade."