When a middle-school math teacher’s old topless selfie fell into the hands of a student, she was summarily fired (“That teacher’s topless selfie,” Los Angeles Times, Apr. 7). At first, I thought the news was an April Fool’s Day joke. But it isn’t.
Her lawyer intends to sue the Long Island, N.Y. school district for $3 million, arguing that the photo was intended solely for viewing by her boyfriend and was not inherently prurient. He is absolutely right. I hope that she gets her job back and that the district issues a formal apology. Apparently, female teachers are still subjected to a different standard than are male teachers.
I wonder how many teachers, both female and male, don’t have something in their personal lives that could prove embarrassing? I’m not talking now about criminal behavior. I’m referring to an indiscretion. You can be sure if it involves sex in any way, it will be an issue for teachers wishing to retain their jobs. Teachers have lives outside of school. Unless their behavior can be shown to be directly inimical to their ability to teach, it’s none of a district’s business.
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