Lifetime movie ‘The Perfect Teacher’ doesn’t claim to be based on a true story like many Lifetime movies, but its premise seems like it was ripped straight from the headlines. So is there a true story similar to that of ‘The Perfect Teacher’ somewhere out there?
The latest in Lifetime’s “perfect”-themed movies airs on September 12th at 8 pm ET and focuses on a pretty, spoiled high school girl (Megan Park) who is used to getting everything she wants. Unfortunately, her latest desire is her good-looking math teacher (David Charvet). She eventually becomes obsessed with “the perfect teacher” and starts stalking him and coming between him and his girlfriend, eventually revealing that she’s far from being the perfect student.
It’s not hard to see how one could believe that Lifetime movie ‘The Perfect Teacher’ is based on a true story; anyone who spends any amount of time reading news on the internet has seen the multitude of stories about teachers and students becoming involved in relationships. But what about the obsession and stalking aspect of ‘The Perfect Teacher’? Have any students taken their feelings for a teacher too far?
Well, as MyFoxTwinCities.com reports, there was one such case of an obsessed student in 1980. However, the subject here was male, and Ming Shiue didn’t take his obsession to the extreme until fifteen years after he’d been a student in Mary Stauffer’s math class. Something in him snapped all those years later, because he kidnapped his former teacher and her daughter, holding them captive for two weeks and raping Mary Stauffer repeatedly before they managed to escape. He also killed a six-year-old that witnessed Shiue stuff Mary and daughter in the trunk of his car.
The Telegraph reports on another male obsessed with a former teacher in Germany. Unfortunately, the chemistry teacher didn’t escape her attacker in this instance; she was stabbed multiple times by her former student and killed after professed his love for her. He also admitted to police that he’d placed a GPS tracking device on her car and had been keeping her under surveillance for quite some time before the attack.
So it’s fairly obvious that real stories of students being obsessed with teachers exist, but has there been a headline-grabbing tale of a female student being obsessed with a male teacher and taking things too far while still in school, as in ‘The Perfect Teacher’? Well, as is the case with many Lifetime movies (think ‘The Client List’ and ‘Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal’), such a true story can be found in Texas.
According to a LubbockOnline.com article from 2003, a high school girl became so obsessed with a teacher that she stalked him and made up stories about secret meetings with him involving sexual contact, according to the defense attorney in the case. The 45-year-old teacher was being tried for five counts of indecency with a child.
According to the article, the student’s obsession with her high school teacher (also a cross country coach) included becoming his teacher’s aide; visiting him in a portable school building after school hours; parking in certain places so she would have to walk by his office to get to school; and continuing to initiate meetings outside of school. She may have also spent a lot of time near the teacher’s house, although she contended this was because she was visiting stores near his home.
So could ‘The Perfect Teacher’ be based on a true story like this one? Well, it looks to me like ‘The Perfect Teacher’ is attempting to paint the educator as more of a victim, while the teacher in this true story obviously was allowing this relationship to go on; according to Amarillo.com, he did plead guilty to the five counts of indecency with a child. And another story on the website also relates how the student “stalking” him received a threat from him and recorded it, so it seems like she may not have been the only obsessed one.
The moral of the story here? While ‘The Perfect Teacher’ may not be based on a true story, sometimes reality is far worse than fiction, so parents need to be sure to watch out for teenagers becoming a little too enamored with a “perfect teacher”. And on the flip side, the perfect teacher needs to watch out for a student that becomes obsessive and possessive; teenagers can be just as dangerous as adults, after all.