A middle school math teacher from Long Island, New York, who was fired after a topless photo she sent to her boyfriend, a male colleague, was spread around the school, is fighting back with a lawsuit accusing the school district and its administrators of gender discrimination.
Teacher Lauren Miranda says that her firing was not only unfair, but sent a negative message to girls that they should be ashamed — and even face social and professional retaliation — if a partner violates their trust by sharing nude photos of them with others.
“I was so proud of myself and so proud of everything that I’ve accomplished being 25 years old and about to be granted tenure,” said Miranda. “All of these milestones were ripped away from me because of a picture of my upper body.”
A letter recommending Miranda’s termination claimed she had “caused, allowed or otherwise made it possible” for the topless photo of her to circulate and blamed her for “failing to take adequate precautionary measures” to prevent the picture from being shared. According to her lawyer, John Ray, school officials also told her that the photo made it impossible for her to be a “role model” to her students.
But Miranda says that the only person she sent the photo to, a male teacher who she had been dating, faced no discipline from the school. And if it had a been a topless photo of a male teacher, she noted, it’s highly unlikely that he would have been fired. The idea that having taken a topless photo prevented her from being a role model, she added, was absurd.
“It’s always the boys hurting the girls and the girls taking the brunt of it,” she said. “Having this picture gain so much traction really shows the disparity between how women are viewed and how men are viewed, and how men can openly sexualize women and how it’s a real problem.”
See clips from her interview with ABC News below.
Read the full story at the Guardian.