At Last! The Ultimate Naked Teacher Principle Episode, Otherwise Known As “Hey, Isn’t This A Photo Of Miss…HOLY CRAP!!!”

Stacy and Tiffany, together again.

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

Here It Is, The Ethics Exception You’ve Been Waiting For: When The Naked Teacher Principle Doesn’t Apply

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.

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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