POSTED AT 1:28 PM EDT  Friday, Jul. 25, 2003

A minor infraction?


UPDATED AT 11:00 AM EDT  Saturday, Jul. 26, 2003

Risking it All : My Student, My Lover, My Story

By Heather Ingram


228 pages, $32.95


Heather Ingram is too easy a target. It's just too darn easy to condemn the B.C. high-school teacher for having an affair with a male student 11 years her junior. And for having the audacity to fall in love with him. And it's easy to say she got what she deserved when she lost her job and was charged -- and convicted -- as a sex offender. And if the majority of her high-school colleagues and members of the community shunned her, so what? That's what the ho deserved.

It's much more difficult to read Risking it All: My Student, My Lover, My Story and realize that Ingram was not so much a predator, as a paper-thin deck of cards waiting to collapse, and that she, unfortunately, did so in the arms of a boy cleverly disguised as a 6'3" Adonis.

Ingram's story is the good girl gone bad: a dutiful daughter who picked up the slack when her bipolar mother couldn't cope, an even more dutiful partner to her desultory common-law husband and an excellent teacher with two degrees who graduated top of her class at the University of British Columbia. How, then, could a bright, dedicated educator not only fall in love with a student, but act on those feelings?

Heather Ingram

Pushing between the lines of her plain, business-teacher prose ("There is so much pleasure in having this beautiful young man lean his lean body over the hood of my car and ask me out."), it's also easy to see that Ingram was an emotionally troubled young woman who craved intimacy enough to believe that she could find it with a boy four months shy of his 18th birthday.

If she'd had to wear a scarlet A, she couldn't have been more vilified by a society that gushes over the older female "cougar" who partakes of younger men. Convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor, even though "Troy" and his mother supported the relationship, Ingram spent 10 months under house arrest.

"My sentence says that I am allowed to buy groceries on Wednesdays between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., at SuperValu only. I can leave my property for no other reason besides work. If I run out of bread or milk I have to ask someone to buy it for me. I can't go to the library. I can't go for a walk. But I can still make love with Troy, another ridiculous systemic contradiction."

Systemic contradiction, yes, but also a red-flag marker of a woman foolish enough to believe that a sustaining relationship could be forged between a teenage boy and a woman in her 30s. As a woman who indulges in the company of younger men, but who knows it's ephemeral, I sometimes wanted to reach into the pages of Ingram's book, give her a shake and say "Get a grip, woman."

Ingram's opportunistic, now-former young lover, hit the press about the same time as this book, asking the courts to lift the publication ban on release of his name in order to pursue a rap career. And, even though Ingram says she wrote this memoir as a way of coping while under house arrest, it's not easy to understand why she wanted it published. She learned, as a beaten dog avoids an upraised hand, to avoid the media. This book will do nothing but bring the hounds back to her door.

Vivian Moreau may indulge in younger men, but knows where to draw the line.







Issue19 Vol 29, May 8 - 14, 2003

Hot for Teacher

Risking it All: My Student, My Lover, My Story

By Heather E. Ingram (Greystone, 228 pages, $32.95)


One time-honoured way to make it big in literature—or at least to gain some notoriety that you can parlay into a book deal—is to do something wild and then write a tell-all about it. And one time-dishonoured way to do well in school is to trade sex for grades. That’s not encouraged in high school, mind you. And “Troy”—the student/lover in former Sunshine Coast high school teacher Heather Ingram’s tell-all memoir—doesn’t appear to be making eyes at Ingram, his 11th grade accounting teacher, in hopes of scoring some extra marks. Rather, he’s hot for teacher, and she’s equally hot for him. They do what you’d expect. As for the fact that such a relationship was illegal because he was under 18 at the time, well, that’s what gave Ingram a conditional sentence, including 10 months of house arrest that apparently afforded her some time to think about writing a book.

So, how to assess a book about a teacher’s affair with a student? Here’s the anecdotal report card.

The believability factor: It’s a tell-all memoir, so while you’re stuck with one character’s perspective, you’re also supposed to embrace that perspective. Who could blame Ingram, trapped in a loveless relationship, when she’s tempted by the sizzling prospect of romance with a forbidden admirer?

The readability factor: Put this clearly-written narrative at a solid grade 11 reading level—just right for all those reluctant teenage readers harbouring fantasies about the new teacher in school. On the other hand, if the book were marketed as fiction, it would shelve nicely next to the Harlequins (the long lingering glances in the high school hallway; the stolen air-kisses through windows; the electric jolts when their lips first touch . . . you get the picture).

The voyeurism factor: See above. There’s sex, but it’s sweet, not steamy.

The reality check: Fortunately, Ingram does include some harsh realities, too, particularly in the graphic description of her despair at the collapse of her rocky long-term relationship, and in the stark fact that the whole episode (criminal sex offender trial included) was one hell of a career-damning move. And she does explain how the trial, and sentence, and probably their 11-year age difference, weren’t exactly conducive to her relationship with Troy—whose mother, however, apparently really liked her.

The exploitation factor: While Ingram got the sexual exploitation rap, you can put the blame on both sides for this one. Last week, “Troy” asked courts to lift the publication ban on his name—he wants to make it big as a rap artist, and apparently figures his bad-boy past is just the ticket to big-time street cred. We’re still waiting to hear what happens with that. But in the meantime, he’s becoming one of the most notorious anonymous young men in B.C.. And Ingram? Well, read all about it yourself.

—Alisa Gordaneer




May 19, 2003


An affair with a student is always taboo -- even if the teen claims he's no victim


FIRST, the disgraced teacher caught our attention with a sensational new book. Heather Ingram -- convicted three years ago of sexually exploiting a minor after her affair with a teen she taught in high school in Sechelt, B.C. -- gave a steamy account of her career-ending romance in the recently published, Risking It All: My Student, My Lover, My Story. But the student quickly outstripped the teacher. Last week, the youth, whose identity had been protected by a publication ban, successfully asked the courts to allow him to publish his name. "I pursued my teacher, I seduced her," he told reporters outside a Vancouver courthouse, where he arrived in Ingram's SUV with an entourage of friends and a pit bull. Dusty (Straight A) Dickeson, now 21, wants to tell the world he is no victim. And he wants to say it in a song. In gangsta rap, on a CD titled Teacher Scandal, to be precise. The lyrics tell the story: Sunshine Coast/Teacher scandal/Nothing in the world that I can't handle.

No longer a couple but still friendly, Ingram and Dickeson are embracing the notoriety they once shunned. Ingram is helping her former student write his own book; the one-time accounting teacher is also handling offers for the movie rights to their story. It's a chance to cash in. But the attention also gives Ingram, who stood mute before the female judge who called her "an affront to society," an opportunity to lash out at a legal system she believes treated her unjustly. Ingram, who was 29 at the time, acknowledges that her sexual relationship with the then 17-year-old Dickeson -- she uses the pseudonym "Troy" in her self-expose -- was unprofessional; she realized she could lose her job and her teaching licence. But she remains angry that the relationship, which she insists was consensual, provoked a police investigation, a trial and her eventual conviction as a sex offender. "I did not exploit Troy," she writes in Risking It All. "I did not in any way coerce him into our relationship. I believe he knew what he was doing when he pursued me, that he did love me."

The idea that a woman like Ingram could sexually assault a street-smart youth would likely have been dismissed outright a decade ago. Such liaisons rarely got beyond the rumour mill, let alone into the courts. In fact, Ingram was one of the first females to be charged under Section 153 of the Criminal Code, introduced in 1985, which makes it an indictable offence for a person in a position of trust or authority to have any sexual contact -- consensual or not -- with a person under 18. As outrage over her case, and those of about a dozen other female teachers across Canada charged under the law makes clear, women are now considered potential sexual predators.

Several forces are pushing that shift in societal attitudes. First, there is a heightened awareness of child sex abuse in general. "It's thanks to the advocacy of the women's movement and the struggle women had for 30 years that we're talking about it now," says Fred Mathews, director of research for the Toronto Children's Mental Health Centre and author of a 1996 Health Canada report on the victimization of male children. Second, as authorities learn more about the crime and its perpetrators, there's growing recognition that both genders are vulnerable to -- and capable of -- sexual abuse. Some studies suggest that females commit as many as 20 per cent of sexual violations against children, mostly boys. As a result, it has become easier for males to report abuse. "Society and police agencies are much more receptive to complaints," notes Vancouver lawyer Bill Smart, who represented Ingram.

The fact that Dickeson initiated the sex is irrelevant. It didn't matter that he was only five months shy of his 18th birthday when he and Ingram began their affair. It didn't matter that his mother approved of the relationship. Under the law, he was a victim. Smart believes the female judge who convicted Ingram wanted to make her an example by giving her the "fairly heavy" sentence of 10 months of house arrest, 120 hours of community service and a year's probation. The message is clear, says the lawyer: "This is criminal and we as a society don't want teachers, no matter how sophisticated the students appear, having sexual relations with them."

There are strong reasons why the law assumed the authority to step in and protect students -- even against their will. Consent is notoriously difficult to determine in sexual offence cases. The issue is further complicated by the fact that some minors may fear reprisals from the abuser. As well, experts say even older teens may not have the emotional maturity to know if they are being exploited. And while boys -- or their parents -- may now be more inclined to report such incidents, it can still go against the macho grain to complain of sexual assault, especially when the predator is a woman. "We don't know if there is coercion or if they're going along with it to save face," says Mathews, author of The Invisible Boy: Revisioning the Victimization of Male Children and Teens. "What's a 17-year-old boy going to say -- 'Oh, I was overwhelmed by a girl?' "

At the core of the debate over male victims lies the touchy issue of gender stereotypes. "One of the problems we have is a mythology in our culture that it's an initiation into manhood to be seduced by an older woman," says Mathews. The old double standard -- revulsion at a male who preys on a young girl and tacit approval when a female seduces an adolescent male -- may be under siege, but it has yet to be wiped out. "I don't know how to say this without being politically incorrect," says John Lyons, a University of Saskatchewan education professor, "but a Grade 11 boy who is hit upon by his female teacher typically does not complain. I doubt very much that you would find young women who would feel that way." Some parents, too, are reluctant to drop their admittedly old-fashioned views. Outside the Mississauga Private School in Toronto's west end, a father of two teenaged boys said he wasn't concerned that one of the institution's young teachers had been suspended following allegations she had sex with a 17-year-old student. "I would feel differently if I had a daughter," he said, while asking that his name not be used. "I'm not saying it's right, but with girls, it's different."

Ingram's case also highlights society's difficulty in deciding when childhood ends and adult responsibilities begin. In most Canadian jurisdictions, teens can start driving at 16 and join the armed forces at 17. As well, the courts have considerable leeway in dealing with young offenders. "There is a dichotomy," says Owen Wigderson, a Toronto lawyer who represented a female teacher acquitted of sexual exploitation. "On the one hand, you are too young to decide on a sexual partner. On the other, there is a law that says if you have committed a crime when you are 13 or 14, you could be treated as an adult."

At what point does a teen become capable of deciding with whom to sleep and when? It's easy to denounce American elementary school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau, who slept with one of her Grade 6 students, for shattering the innocence of a 13-year-old. But what about older teens who pursue teachers? Should they be held accountable for their behaviour? The law says no. "These debates are always polarized," says Toronto high-school teacher Joe Polito. "People are totally advocates for the kid or totally advocates for the teacher, and it's way too complicated for that." Polito, the father of three twentysomethings, argues that the ultimate responsibility always rests with the teacher. "But I certainly don't look on the kids as 100-per-cent victims," he says. "They must know there is something wrong with that kind of relationship."

The reality of Canadian schools is far removed from the sexually charged classrooms of the popular TV drama Boston Public. But, according to some teachers, teens are increasingly precocious. "Kids know more about sex than we ever did," says a 44-year-old female Kingston, Ont., high-school teacher. She adds that she's seen a steady -- and troubling -- decline in the formality that once separated students and teachers. And teens, naturally, like to test boundaries. One Ontario teacher, right out of teacher's college, says a female colleague had to fend off the advances of a junior high student so aggressive he was eventually suspended for his behaviour.

Educators across the country are taking tough new measures to protect students -- and to avoid the hefty civil suits some victims have launched against school boards. "We would like to reduce sexual abuse cases to zero," says Doug Wilson, head of the Ontario College of Teachers. Last fall, Wilson made an unprecedented tour of 15 communities, briefing teachers, union and school board officials on the college's new guidelines, which warn teachers to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. They urge teachers to avoid sending e-mails to individual students and ask them to watch colleagues for signs of a sexual enticement. For transgressors, the penalties are stiff -- and embarrassing. Criticized for past cover-ups, the college now holds disciplinary hearings in public and posts names on the Internet.

While no one believes it's appropriate for a teacher to have a sexual relationship with a student, even a willing one, the staunchest of child advocates say teachers may be singled out unfairly. Some critics say the Ontario college is over-reacting -- going further than the courts in its treatment of errant teachers. "They sacrifice the individual teacher for the image of the profession," says James Battin, who represented Amy Gehring -- the substitute teacher acquitted of indecent assault in England -- when she returned to Canada. Even though she volunteered to give up her provincial teacher's licence, the college held a disciplinary hearing (Gehring refused to attend) and banned her from teaching for 10 years. Battin calls the college's procedures unjust: "In a criminal court, 90 per cent of the evidence they used would not be admissible because it's all hearsay and rumour."

While most teachers welcome the new guidelines, some worry that they will encourage students to lay false accusations. "The chill is picked up by perceptive kids and it can be used viciously," says the Kingston teacher. "An accusation on the part of a student -- it doesn't matter if it's true -- and that teacher is gone." In fact, teachers are acquitted in about 98 per cent of cases, according to Montreal lawyer Jean Dury. He has represented dozens of Quebec teachers falsely accused of sexual assault, and knows of two who committed suicide because of such allegations. Mathews understands the dilemma. "We want to protect our young from the very few teachers who may cause harm. We also want to protect the innocent teacher from being charged and labelled."

Psychological profiles of female teachers who indulge in sexual misconduct with students show they're typically socially immature rather than sexually deviant. It's an assessment that Ingram accepts. "I believe it was low self-esteem that enabled me to cross the teacher-student line and betray my professional responsibility," she writes. She traces her poor self-image back to her parents' divorce, her mother's mental illness and her own insecurities as a teen. She also blames her common-law marriage, in which she felt "chronically unworthy." With Troy, she explains, "I felt sexual and desirable."

Ingram is rebuilding her life. She has a new job at an environmental firm in Gibsons, B.C., a house and a few dedicated friends. The book is attracting attention and the movie could happen. And Dickeson, the would-be rap star, is preparing to tell the world in his own book how not being a victim got him where he is.



May 25, 2003

Why Section 153 Makes Sense

In the May 19, 2003 edition of MacLean's, Sharon Doyle Driedger's story on the British Columbia teacher who had an affair with her student raises some valid questions.

Here are the valid answers.

Driedger presents both sides of the story. Here's the recap.

Heather Ingram, an accounting teacher at a high school in Sechelt, British Columbia, was convicted of violating Section 153 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Section 153 makes sexual contact with a person under the age of 18 by a person in a position of trust or authority an indictable offence. Ingram had an affair with a 17-year old student. She was convicted and sentenced to ten months of house arrest, one year of probation, and 120 hours of community service.

Until recently, the now former student's name remained anonymous as a result of a court imposed publication ban. Two weeks ago, the now 21-year old former student petitioned the courts to allow publication of his identity. The former student now wants to cash in on the story and promote his new gangsta rap CD titled Teacher's Scandal. His petition succeeded. Dusty Dickeson is now writing a book about the experience. And, oh by the way, his former lover is helping him with the manuscript.

Yeesh... this just reeks of a cheap made-for-television movie of the week. Perhaps the reason his former lover is helping him with the manuscript is that they were too busy with (cough cough) matters other than reading, writing, and arithmetic.

The couple are no longer a couple but according to Driedger's report, they are "friendly." Ingram reveals in her recently published book, Risking It All: My Student, My Lover, My Story, that Dickeson initiated the relationship, i.e. the student seduced the teacher. After all, he was only five months away from his eighteenth birthday and even his own mother approved of the relationship. Ingram, the teacher, was 29 years old at the time.

Immediately, images of Mary Kay Letourneau come to mind. But, let's face it, Dickeson isn't in Grade Six. He was licensed to drive at 16. He could join the armed forces at 17. At eighteen, an age just a few short months away, he could even vote. And, if he was charged with a criminal offence at age 13 or 14, Dickeson could have been charged and tried as an adult. A younger man, an older woman, romance blossoms. So, no big deal? Right?


Okay, there are some conflicts when it comes to age and consent. The old argument goes something like this: If you can die for your country, you should be able to decide when you can have sex as long as it is with someone at or above the legal age of consent. However, the issue has nothing to do with the student's behaviour and everything to do with Ingram's.

The opening wording of Section 153 of the Criminal Code are the keys to understanding why this law is in place.

Trust and authority. Big words, big concepts, and seemingly forgotten in this day and age when sexuality seems to pervade every nook and cranny of society. Teachers, like ministers, priests, social workers, doctors, and every other occupation in which care, respect, and trust are essential, have to be and should be held to high standards of ethical behaviour. There is no wiggle room nor justification for her actions.

Is Ingram a "sexual predator?" Probably not. Both she and Dickeson state the liaison was consensual and mutual. Is Ingram a criminal? Absolutely. The lawyer quoted in Driedger's story sums it all up. "This is criminal and we as a society don't want teachers, no matter how sophisticated the students appear, having sexual relations with them."

It matters not that the teacher was seduced. It matters not that the student pursued her. And it matters not that his mother approved. The lines are drawn for clear reasons.

Ingram should have received a stiffer sentence (no pun intended), neither should be allowed to profit from the story, and both of them should just fade into media oblivion.

(And yes, I know I'm not helping to achieve that goal at all.)

Until next time.

Posted by Paul at May 25, 2003 03:53 PM





Saturday, March 11, 2000                                   

Teacher charged over affair with her student
Nancy Moote
National Post

SECHELT, B.C. - A 30-year-old woman, described as an excellent teacher, has been charged with sexual exploitation of a teenage boy who was her student.

Heather Ingram was suspended from her job as a mathematics, science and business teacher at Chatelech Secondary School in October after a school superintendent heard she was involved with a 17-year-old student. She resigned a few weeks later and since has been advertising her services as a private math tutor.

Ms. Ingram and her former student, who is now 18, have been seen together publicly since then.

The case has sparked debate in this town of about 8,000 on the Sunshine Coast, a 40-minute ferry ride north of Vancouver.

On Thursday, the day Ms. Ingram was formally charged, a group of her former Grade 11 and 12 students said it is not wrong for a teacher to have a relationship with a student as long as the student fully consents.

"They're blowing it out of proportion," said one boy who had Ms. Ingram as a teacher and knows her alleged victim.

"All the students feel that way," added a Grade 11 girl. It's the adults who say such behaviour is wrong, she said.

Clifford Smith, the former superintendent of schools who made the decision to suspend Ms. Ingram when he first heard the allegations, says an affair with a student is "absolutely reprehensible."


Tuesday, May 30, 2000                                           

Ingram will not go to jail for sex with student
Former B.C. teacher receives 10-month conditional sentence

Ian Bailey
National Post

SECHELT, B.C. - Heather Ingram, the teacher who had a sexual relationship with her 17-year-old accounting student, knew she was doing something wrong, but didn't think it was illegal.

"I understood there was a consequence for my behaviour. I understood a person in a position of power should not have a relationship with a student. But I did not know it was a criminal offence," she said in an interview yesterday after she was given a 10-month conditional sentence for her affair.

Ingram, 30, says she is a stronger person after having been tried and sentenced for sexually exploiting the youth, and that her relationship with him will endure.

"We have a really strong bond together. I learn things from him. He teaches me things I haven't necessarily experienced. I had a limited and sheltered experience. He has a strong, healthy approach to life that I admire ... To people who know us, we're a normal couple."

The youth turns 19 next month. In a separate matter, he has been charged with having sex with a 13-year-old girl, and is scheduled to appear in court next month.

"We have processed this in our relationship," Ingram said. "It is minor. We love each other."

Yesterday, the youth -- sporting a neatly trimmed goatee, white sweater and white jeans -- stood by his former teacher, his arm slung over her shoulder as she delivered a brief statement.

"I've had a tremendous opportunity over the last eight months," said Ingram, subdued after the hearing that left her briefly in tears when Judge Shirley Giroday hinted she would send her to jail.

"I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned a lot about our society ... I have a stronger family. I am stronger person."

Ingram's career as a teacher ended last October after she revealed she had been having sex with one of her accounting students at Chatelech secondary school. The affair began on Jan. 15, when he went to her home to watch videos.

Ingram pleaded guilty last month to the charge of sexual exploitation. According to the Criminal Code, it is illegal for an adult to have a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old over whom they have authority. This is one of three high-profile cases recently in British Columbia involving allegations of female teachers and male students.

Judge Giroday bundled her conditional sentence with a series of restrictions that essentially mean Ingram will only be able to leave her home for work -- she is a bookkeeper and office administrator at an environmental firm -- for medical appointments and for meetings with her probation officer.

"It's really important that people understand this is, in effect, a house arrest," her lawyer Bill Smart said outside court. "Instead of us paying for her to be in a jail, she's able to go to work."

Judge Giroday said a message had to be sent to deter inappropriate conduct between teachers and students.

Mr. Smart conceded most "right-thinking" people would see his client's conduct as wrong, but that she had been punished enough by the loss of her career, her criminal record and negative publicity.


Wednesday » April 2 » 2003

B.C. teacher writes book on affair with teen pupil

VANCOUVER - A female teacher who had an affair with a 17-year-old student, then found herself in a high-profile court case over the romance, cheated on her lover with one of his friends and was eventually dumped for a 15-year-old girl her former student described as "easy to be with."

Heather Ingram, who was 29 and married when she first had sex with her student, recounts all of the twists in Risking It All: My Student, My Lover, My Story. It is due in bookstores across Canada in mid-April from Greystone Books.

The former teacher's memoir provides new details on the sensational case from the spring of 2000 that eventually saw Ms. Ingram convicted of having sex with someone under 18 while in a position of authority. The drama played out in Sechelt, a community of about 7,000 people on the Sunshine Coast region of B.C., north of Vancouver.

Ms. Ingram first met Troy -- as the youth is dubbed in the book -- in her accounting class at Sechelt's Chatelech secondary school. She was intrigued by the flirtatious student she compared to a "Calvin Klein model." To Ms. Ingram, Troy was "stunningly beautiful in an almost feminine way." She was struck by his vulnerability and "cocky self confidence."

Troy asked Ms. Ingram out. She declined -- reluctantly. "I know that a relationship with Troy simply cannot be," she writes. "There is so much pleasure in having this beautiful young man lean his lean body over the hood of my car and ask me out. But this moment can only be a moment, and part of its charm comes from its sheer impossibility."

But Troy dropped by Ms. Ingram's house one night while her husband was away skiing. They had sex, kicking off a three-year relationship that survived a court case that drew scores of reporters to Sechelt.

The case drew intense interest because it involved a female teacher involved with a male student, who encouraged the romance and never felt a victim. Even his mother approved of the relationship.

The media spotlight swung away from Ms. Ingram as she began 10 months of house arrest, served at a modest home where she lived with Troy. She eventually also lost her teacher's certificate. But Risking It All suggests there was no happy ending for the couple.

The relationship had already cost Ms. Ingram her marriage. Then her liaison with Troy ended badly after Ms. Ingram caught Troy in a fling of his own with a 15-year-old girl. Tipped to Troy's assignations by a friend, she spied on the girl's residence from a parking lot across the street. "Within half an hour, I see his car pull up and he drops her off," she writes.

Troy's defence? "She's easy to be with."

Ms. Ingram writes that Troy had a point. "I criticize him, his friends, his pot smoking, his lifestyle. I am afraid of being pulled over by the police; I do not want to go to raucous, drug-filled parties," she writes.

"We are so different; I knew this from the beginning. How naive to think that love could overcome not only what we have been through but our differences too."

Ms. Ingram gave Troy back the engagement ring he had given her on her birthday months before.

Ian Bailey

National Post


Wednesday » May 7 » 2003

Teacher's student lover wins bid to reveal identity

'Seducer' has recorded CD

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

SECHELT, B.C. - A man who had an affair with his high-school teacher, who was convicted of sexual exploitation, has won a court order lifting a ban on publishing his identity so he can publicize his CD about the tale.

"Finally," Dusty Dickeson said in court yesterday after provincial court Judge Dan Moon ruled in his favour. Outside the court, Mr. Dickeson, 21, promised to tell his side of the story, which rocked this community about 75 kilometres north of Vancouver.

Mr. Dickeson, currently unemployed after working in a mill, admitted nobody is knocking on his door, but he said he hopes that will change. "I am hopefully getting a CD contract and label and getting on with my career instead of being a Joe on the street," said Mr. Dickeson.

Mr. Dickeson was 17 when he began an affair with Heather Ingram, then his 29- year-old accounting teacher at Chatelech High School in Sechelt. Her 11-year common-law relationship ended over the affair.

Mr. Dickeson yesterday fondly remembered Ms. Ingram as the "ultimate challenge" for his seductive powers. She eventually gave in during an evening at her home while watching videos. He added: "I was the pursuer. I was the seducer."

Ms. Ingram had never been in trouble. However, she pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor. She served a 10-month term of house arrest. The situation ended her teaching career, but she has since found work with an environmental consulting firm.

Until yesterday, Mr. Dickeson was referred to by such pseudonyms as Troy in Ms. Ingram's recently published memoir of her affair Risking it All: My Student, My Lover, My Story. But he went to court seeking to end a publication ban on disclosing his identity, arguing that being a "blurred face" in photos and images relating to his story was a problem. Anonymity, said Mr. Dickeson, is "holding me back, slowing me down."

Now the rap artist wants to be known by his own name -- or as Straight A, his monicker on Straight A's Teacher's Scandal, a CD he and a few friends have recorded at a cost of about $2,000. The CD, copies of which Mr. Dickeson handed out yesterday, features a cover image of him posing with a shotgun and chainsaw. One cut on the CD, produced over the past few months at a home studio, is called Teachers' Scandal.

Ian Bailey

National Post