Ingram, Heather E(lizabeth) 1969-
INGRAM, Heather E(lizabeth) 1969-
Home—Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Greystone Books, Douglas & McIntyre Publishing Group, Suite 201, 2323 Quebec St., Vancouver, British Columbia V5T 4S7, Canada.
Educator, office administrator, and author. Chatelech High School, Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada, math, business, and accounting teacher, 1994-99; worked as a math tutor and an office administrator for a British Columbia environmental consulting firm. Has appeared on radio and television shows, including Oprah.
Risking It All: My Student, My Lover, My Story, Greystone Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.
In 1999 British Columbia secondary school mathematics teacher Heather E. Ingram, age twenty-nine, became a celebrity of sorts when news broke that she had been having a sexual relationship with a seventeen-year-old student. While Ingram's ethical judgment was quickly called into question, the Canadian criminal courts had their say also, and in March of 2000, she was sentenced to ten months under house arrest after being convicted of sexual exploitation. Ingram, who has ended her teaching career and returned to work in business administration, decided to publish her account of the relationship, and in 2003 Risking It All: My Student, My Lover, My Story appeared on bookstore shelves.
Risking It All met with a mixed response from critics. In its tell-all prose, the book attracted those interested in the soap-opera aspects of the case, from the beginnings of the relationship between teacher and student—both Ingram and her student agree that she was not the initiator in the relationship—to the public outcry, trial, and aftermath. For others, however, the book proved problematic. "Pushing between the lines of her plain, business-teacher prose," Vivian Moreau noted in a review for the Toronto Globe and Mail, "… 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 eighteenth birthday." Confused as to why Ingram published Risking It All, Moreau continued: "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." For the abusee's part, the publicity has sparked a career as a budding rap star, and by 2003, at age twenty-one, he had petitioned to have his true name released to the public to help push sales of his gangsta rap single Teacher Scandal. Ingram was also reported to be assisting her former accounting student in writing his own book about the affair. A 2003 appearance by the obviously still-friendly couple on the Oprah daytime talk show sparked discussion that a movie deal would follow.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Ingram, Heather, Risking It All: My Student, My Lover, My Story, Greystone Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), July 26, 2003, Vivian Moreau, "A Minor Infraction?"
Maclean's, May 19, 2003, Sharon Doyle Deiedger, "The Teacher's Lesson," p. 56.
National Post, (British Columbia, Canada), March 11, 2000; May 30, 2000.*