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Comment > The PB Debate: Should Rachel be with Angus?

Recent weeks have seen 16-year-old Rachel Kinski develop a relationship with older man Angus Henderson. After initially lying about her age, she was shocked to realise that he was her new substitute teacher. The relationship didn't end there, however, with Rachel pursuing Angus until he finally gave in and they slept together. Now, with their secret blown wide open and all of Erinsborough gossiping, we ask whether this should be the end for Rachel and Angus...

Yes by Steve
Angus and Rachel never intended to break the law. When they first met and became involved with each other, Angus wasn’t aware of her real age, whilst she had no idea that he was her new teacher. It was only through an unfortunate coincidence – and Rachel’s bending of the truth – that they ended up spending that fateful evening together, which led to so many problems.

Although Rachel and Angus have the right to be together – she is over 16, after all – there is no doubt that he would have to leave his teaching position at Erinsborough High if they were going to make a long-term go of things. Otherwise, the likelihood that Angus would be spending several years in prison would certainly put an end to the relationship before it had properly begun. Maybe Angus should have cut all ties when he found out Rachel’s real age and saw her sitting at a desk in his class, but sometimes feelings can’t be switched on and off that easily.

Nobody can deny that the relationship would have some big hurdles to overcome – a big age difference and Rachel being a 16-year-old schoolgirl to name just two – but there’s also a strong connection there, a connection which brought two people together against the odds and kept pulling them back to each other when they knew it was wrong.

It would be easy to say Rachel should just grow up and get over it. But to say Rachel has had a difficult few years would be an understatement. Losing both her parents, watching her stepmother go through a serious illness, seeing her first boyfriend die - it's more than enough for anyone to deal with. Angus might not have come into Rachel's life in the best circumstances, but now that he's there, shouldn't she be allowed a shot at happiness?

No by Ryan
When Rachel Kinski lied to her date Angus Henderson about her age, she was only doing what millions of teenage girls have done before her (and what millions more will do after her). Yes, it was wrong, but not malicious, and certainly not illegal. But when Rachel went to school and found Angus was her new teacher, everything changed – or at least it should have.

Neither Rachel nor Angus had any idea of the other’s situation when they started seeing each other. However, it took them a matter of days to find out, and as soon as they did, that should have been the end of it. If this had happened several months into their relationship, their actions might be more understandable; but after one date, surely it shouldn’t have been that difficult to simply put it behind them as an embarrassing mistake?

In this respect, Angus deserves more blame than Rachel. As mature as she thinks she is, she’s still a starry-eyed 16 year-old deep down, and it’s hard to blame her for thinking she’s in love. Angus on the other hand is an adult, and an adult in a position of responsibility and trust. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t know Rachel was a student; he does now, and even if he has no qualms about the morality of his actions, he should at least have the sense to know that if they get caught, it’s the end for his career.

If Angus was really that desperate to be with Rachel, he had the ideal opportunity to ease the path when his temporary contract at Erinsborough High came to an end. But instead of looking for work elsewhere, he accepted a full-time position there. Angus clearly wants to have his cake and eat it, or to put it crudely, pee on his own doorstep. And it doesn’t take long for that sort of behaviour to catch up with you.

Neighbours viewers with long memories may recall Brad Willis getting a new girlfriend, Ally Slater, who looked suspiciously familiar to his mate, teacher Wayne Duncan. When Wayne asked Brad to help out with a school sports team, it suddenly became clear where Wayne knew Ally from – his Year 10 class. Did Brad go on seeing her, despite knowing she was only 14? No, of course he didn’t; he ditched her straight away. And if a himbo like Brad can work it out, for a teacher, it should be child’s play.