The Naked Teacher Principle (NTP) states that a secondary school teacher or administrator (or other role model for children) who allows pictures of himself or herself to be widely publicized, as on the web, showing the teacher naked or engaging in sexually provocative poses, cannot complain when he or she is dismissed by the school as a result.
Ah, would that it were always this simple! In the past, we have had to deal with the “naked teacher who paints with his butt and naughty bits on camera with a bag over his head” principle, for example. Another teacher got fired when the naked photos of herself she had on her own tablet inadvertently was sent to the students in her class.
Now, from Long Island comes the saga of a middle school teacher—in NTP scenarios, they are the worst kind—who was fired last week when an old topless selfie that she sent to a former boyfriend ended up in the in the hands of a student
Lauren Miranda, the 25-year-old Bellport Middle School math teacher is suing, claiming that she was wrongfully dismissed for not being a proper school role model. In many of the stories in the press, “role model” is in quotes. Does the news media now dispute that teachers are supposed to be role models? If teachers aren’t role models for kids, what are they?
Miranda said the image was obtained without her consent–I’ll buy that — and that there was nothing “inherently offensive” about the image anyway. The issue isn’t whether in the abstract a naked female form is offensive, but whether a female teacher’s early adolescent students should think of their teacher as a sex object.
“It’s pure,” Miranda said of her bare-breasted selfie. Oh! If that’s true, why don’t you use it as your official photo on the school website?
Miranda doesn’t seem too bright, and her lawyer is stretching like an aerobics instructor. They contend that a male teacher would not have been subjected to the same treatment in similar circumstances. Well, there’s precedent on that, and they are just flat-out wrong. They may recall, or should, that in their very own sate, a rising national legislator lost his job for sending a crotch-shot selfie to an object of his desire. Elected officials are also supposed to be role models, or should I say, “role models.”
I don’t know what kind of contract she signed, and I don’t know how Long Island’s school labor rules work. What I know is that it isn’t that difficult, if one is in a position that involves being thought of by kids in one’s charge as a dignified, responsible adult that parents can reasonably feel is trustworthy, to avoid this problem: don’t send nude selfies. How hard is that? It is also prudent, as this scenario proves. Don’t send naked pictures of yourself, even “pure” ones, to anyone, and you won’t have to sound like an idiot later when you say, “Gee, I have no idea how that picture ended up in the hands 12-year-old Frankie, who drooled all over it.”