But she’s not naked!
It will be therapeutic, I hope, to take a breather from considering the steadily increasing seriousness of the various government scandals, as well as reviling the increasingly desperate spin being employed to try to deflect them, and to focus on something both far removed and of vital national interest. Of course, that means buckling down and refining the Naked Teacher Principle, which in its formal explication, is that a responsible high school teacher has a duty to take reasonable care that her students do not see her in the nude, and if she does not, and her students do see her in the nude, she has no standing to complain when the school deems her unable to maintain the proper and necessary credibility and dignity necessary for teaching.
Now comes the news that at Martin County High School, in Florida, a ninth-grade English teacher of otherwise good repute named Olivia Sprauer has been fired for being shown on the web modeling bathing suits, and offering her services to photographers for less clothed presentations. Should the Naked Teacher Principle or any of its variations apply? Continue reading
Stacie and Tiffany Six, together again.
I’ve been writing about various manifestations of what I dubbed years ago “the Naked Teacher Principal” for a long time. The principle, based in accountability and responsibility, holds that once a teacher has allowed naked or otherwise sexually provocative photographs of herself or himself to become available over the internet, that teacher will be unable to properly maintain the respect of and proper professional relationship to students, serve as a role model, or be trusted to meet professional standards. Such a teacher will have no ethical defense when he or she is fired.
Variations and near-variations have ranged from the teacher whose room mate posted household photos of the teacher doing household chores in the nude, to the teacher who wrote sexually-explicit novels about werewolves, to the art teacher whose avocation of painting pictures with his genitals was revealed in an online sequence showing him doing so with a paper bag over his head.
Now at last we have a former porn star variation, and the NTP has been upheld. Continue reading
The Naked Teacher Principle: The Principle 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.
Ms. Webb, NYC school guidance counselor, circa 1995. Va-va-voom.
Tiffany Webb is, or was, a 37 year-old guidance counselor in the New York City public schools. She had excelled at her job for 12 years until photos she posed for as a 20-year-old lingerie model turned up on the internet. When a student showed photos of Webb that he had found online to her principal, it was recommended that she be fired. After an investigation, an Education Department committee voted 2-1 to do just that, concluding, ‘The inappropriate photos were accessible to impressionable adolescents. That behavior has a potentially adverse influence on her ability to counsel students and be regarded as a role model.”
Her firing came as she was scheduled to gain tenure. Naturally, she’s suing. I hope she wins, because while the committee’s rhetoric is in line with the sound reasoning behind the Naked Teacher Principle, the facts dictate that this is the point—and all rules have such a point point— where “ethics incompleteness” occurs and the rule, however valid it is the vast majority of the time, accomplishes unethical rather than ethical ends.
The Naked Teacher Principle doesn’t apply to Tiffany Webb because:
1. She is not naked, though the photos doesn’t leave much to the imagination, either. OK, forget #1. Continue reading
The Rich Central High principal suspected something was amiss with the girls’ basketball coach when the team members began to act strangely…
A provocative variation on the “naked teacher” scenario has surfaced in Chicago suburb Olympia Fields. Bryan Craig was a guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach at Rich Central High School until his self-published book “It’s Her Fault” came to the attention of parents and school administrators. Then he was placed on administrative leave, and finally, fired. The book is for mature audiences only, and based on reports (I haven’t read it and have no intention of doing so) includes pick-up advice, analysis of female body types (including a discussion of the varying colors and temperature levels of the vaginas of various races, apparently the book’s highlight) and Craig’s insight into how women think, a perspective that appears to be muddled at best and sexist at worst. Here is a passage from the book (in an Amazon reader’s review—a favorable one, and from a teenage stripper):
“In some cases, strippers and dancers show the overall dominance a woman can have over a man. Not to say that stripping is what has to be done to truly establish dominance, but these women’s mind-set is in the right place in order to meet the true potential of the point of this book.” Continue reading
“One of my students this year has a vaguely Hispanic name but is literally the whitest girl you’ve ever met. Her mother straight out asked, ‘If we mark she’s Latino on the application, is that something that they would ever challenge?’ I told her honestly my best guess, which was no. And, if early admissions are any indication, it seemed to work.”
—-A guidance counselor (and former Ivy League admission officer) at a private school in the South, quoted by Kathleen Kingsbury in her report for The Daily Beast on dubious college admission tactics.
This, of course, is completely unethical for both the student and the counselor, who is exactly like a tax attorney or accountant who lets a client know that his fraudulent return will almost certainly not be audited by the I.R.S. Both of those professionals violate their ethics codes by aiding and abetting such conduct, and the quoted counselor is just as bad.
What should the counselor have said? Continue reading