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Is Rachel Bhargava Based on Rebekah Rombom?

April 25, 2020
3 min read

‘Bad Education’ is a comical look into the 2004 public school embezzlement case that shook the nation. Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman) and Pamela Gluckin (Allison Janney), the flawed but loveable characters embody the real-life individuals that were behind the scam. In the aftermath of the real incident, questions sprang to life concerning the whereabouts of not only Tassone and Gluckin but also various others involved in the case, especially the ones that fused the secret out.

In the film, Rachel Bhargava (Geraldine Viswanathan) is a student who is part of the school newsletter. As she sets out to do a ‘puff piece,’ she unearths information that leads to years of scam run by Gluckin and Tassone. This is not far from what happened in real life, as well.

Is Rachel Bhargava Based on a Real Person?

The answer is yes, but in an exaggerated sense. Rachel Bhargava is the altered screen name for the real student who wrote the piece about Gluckin. Rebekah Rombom is the actual name of the Roslyn High student who broke the case out to the public. Rombom was a senior in Roslyn High in the year 2004. Like everyone, she too appreciated and saw the benefit of Tassone’s and Gluckin’s administration. She was the co-editor of the school newspaper named ‘Hilltop Beacon.’

Rombom received a tip that led her to attend the school’s board meeting, where she came to know that things were terribly askew. Unlike Rachel from the film, Rombom did a more interview-based investigation and document review method than a full-fledged investigation. Even without professional journalistic experience, she found sufficient information that was truly disturbing.

Eventually, the Roslyn High School newspaper became the first to break this news. It had details of how the school authorities were previously aware of the situation and had fired Gluckin by asking her to pay a sum in compensation for the fraud she committed. However, when the case went to trial, thanks to some other anonymous letters as well, her share in the embezzled case was around $ 4 million. In the end, Rombom as a teenager, once again affirmed the power of journalism.

Where is Rebekah Rombom Today?

Rebekah Rombom kept up to the legacy of Roslyn High, which is known for its students’ high admittance rate into Ivy League Schools. Rombom went to Dartmouth College and studied English. As a student there, she was also part of Dartmouth’s newspaper, ‘The Dartmouth.’ In her final year, she worked as an editor for the paper as well. Check out one of her articles here.

After college, Rombom moved to Brooklyn. Interestingly, she no longer writes as a journalist. She has spent her last couple of years in the field of education. A smiling Rebekah Rombom can be seen proudly displaying her designation on her LinkedIn profile. She currently works for Flatiron School as the General Manager.

Mike Makowsky, the screenplay writer of ‘Bad Education,’ worked with Rombom to make the instances in the film as real as possible. Rombom has a private account on Instagram, and her Twitter account reveals that she is very serious and involved in her work. The ex-Roslyn High student continues to carve a path for herself.

Read More: Where is Frank Tassone Now

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