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A Man Wouldn't Be Punished Over a Topless Selfie, Fired Teacher Says

District says photo means she's not a good role model anymore
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2019 7:09 PM CDT
Egyptian activist Sherif Azer poses taking a selfie.   (Courtesy of Sherif Azer via AP)

(Newser) – When a Long Island middle school teacher was fired after a student obtained a topless photo of her, she saw it as a gender discrimination issue, the New York Times reports. Numerous male teachers in her district have posted shirtless photos of themselves on social media, she says, without being reprimanded. The superintendent and the school board, her lawyer says, "didn’t get the memo that men and women are equal." Lauren Miranda, 25, says she sent the photo to a teacher she was dating, didn't send it to anyone else, and didn't know how the student got hold of it. Still, the superintendent wrote that she was being fired because she "caused, allowed, or otherwise made it possible" for an inappropriate photo to be distributed to students. He said she was not a fitting role model for students.

Miranda has taken initial steps toward suing the school district for $3 million, per the Washington Post. "My career has been ruined, my reputation has been tarnished, I have been stigmatized," she says. Her lawyer says the teacher took a photo of herself, per the Times, "And then from that, they manage to say that she’s done something dirty. Something sexually filthy. That's just not what we're about anymore in the millennial age." Miranda said at a news conference Monday that her suit delivers a different message to girls whose photos have been "sent all over" high school. "What message are we sending to them?" she said. "To roll over when your picture gets exposed without your permission or consent? So how am I now not being a role model to them?" (This teacher says she got fired for giving zeros.)

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