Peacock’s new series One of Us Is Lying went out with a literal bang on Thursday, as the killer of a student was shot dead at the end of the double-episode finale. But there were more than two lives lost, as it was also revealed that a teacher (who is labeled a “good person” and “the opposite of a killer”) helped one student (who is “not ashamed”) get a secret abortion behind her parents’ back.
One of Us Is Lying is a teen murder mystery based on the book by Karen M. McManus in which high school student Simon (Mark McKenna) falls dead from a peanut allergy in the middle of serving detention after someone secretly laces his cup of water with peanut oil. The five students serving detention with him become prime suspects and band together in a “murder club” to find the real killer. It’s worth noting that, although the show centers around teens, it’s not at all appropriate for teen viewing due to extremely foul language, drugs, and rampant gay and straight sex.
Near the end of the season, the five students begin to suspect their teacher who oversaw the detention, Ms. Avery (Andi Crown), after they learn that Simon was blackmailing her over a secret he threatened to publish on his Gossip Girl-esque burn blog.
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When Addy (Annalisa Cochrane), who is one of the five suspects, confronts her friend Vanessa (Sara Thompson) as to why she was seen at Ms. Avery’s house, Vanessa first claims she was getting extra help with her studies. But after further discussion, Vanessa admits Ms. Avery helped her get an abortion and even paid for it so Vanessa’s parents wouldn’t find out:
Vanessa: I had an abortion, Addy.
Vanessa: Mm-hmm. And Ms. Avery was there for me because she’s a good person. She’s like the opposite of a killer. I mean, unless you’re my parents. If they found out, they would say we’re both baby killers.
Ms. Avery: I know what you all think of me, but I’m not a monster. I do actually care about my students.
Addy: Vanessa, I’m so sorry.
Vanessa: She caught me trying to skip, and I told her I had a doctor’s appointment, so she thought I was lying because, you know, I usually am. And she said she had to call my parents to check my story, so I panicked. I completely broke down, and I told her everything.
Ms. Avery: I helped Vanessa when she needed it, and in doing so, I violated school rules.
Bronwyn: What school rules?
Vanessa: She helped me make an appointment with a good doctor. And then she drove me there. And she held my hand while I waited. She even paid for it, so my parents would never find out.
Addy: We’re talking about the same Ms. Avery?
Vanessa: Mm-hmm. Even total bitches have feelings, Addy. You should know. Look, I’m not ashamed about what I did. I just really don’t want Ms. Avery to get punished for being nice to me.
No, Vanessa, Ms. Avery was not being nice to you. Helping an underage student undergo an abortion behind her parents’ backs and then leaving her with said parents who are responsible should any complications arise, is not what a “good person” would do. That baby was the parents’ grandchild, which means the parents should have been involved in the decision-making process, not some teacher who had no regard for the baby’s life.
Yes, this is a fictional story, but sadly, these situations can be very real. It was rumored that a very liberal teacher in my high school often helped pregnant students undergo abortions. My children attended school in Loudoun County, VA where parental rights in general are at serious risk right now. It certainly doesn’t help matters when Hollywood portrays teachers who defy parental rights as heroes and the parents as villains as this show has. Is it really any surprise that parents are revolting at school board meetings all over the country now and standing up for their rights?