To­p­less teacher fired, sues schools

The Buffalo News - - LOCAL NEWS - By Geoff Her­bert SYRA­CUSE ME­DIA GROUP

A New York teacher is su­ing her for­mer school af­ter being fired for a to­p­less selfie that cir­cu­lated among stu­dents.

ABC re­ports Lauren Mi­randa, a for­mer math teacher at Bell­port Mid­dle School on Long Is­land, said she lost her job this year af­ter a racy photo from 2016 resur­faced. She found out from a col­league who texted her on Jan. 11: “The kids... are say­ing they have a naked photo of you.”

Ac­cord­ing to The New York Times, Mi­randa was con­fronted by a school ad­min­is­tra­tor in a meet­ing with mostly men. She was shown her to­p­less photo on a com­puter mon­i­tor and felt hu­mil­i­ated.

“That was prob­a­bly the worst day that I en­dured,” she told the news­pa­per.

Mi­randa, 25, said she took one photo of her­self par­tially nude in her bed­room three years ago and sent it to a fel­low teacher she was dat­ing at the time. She has no idea how it resur­faced, but a teenage stu­dent ob­tained it with­out her con­sent and be­gan shar­ing it with class­mates.

“I think when any­body sends a pic­ture they only ex­pect it to be re­ceived by the per­son that they sent it to and no­body else,” Mi­randa told ABC.

Her lawyer, John Ray, told Buz­zFeed News that school of­fi­cials tried to pres­sure her to re­sign and, when she re­fused, they placed her on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave.

Mi­randa was fi­nally fired last week af­ter four years of work­ing in the South Coun­try Cen­tral School Dis­trict, Ray said. Mi­randa now plans to sue the school dis­trict, its su­per­in­ten­dent, and mem­bers of the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion for gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion, ar­gu­ing that she wouldn’t have been fired if a male teacher took a sim­i­lar to­p­less photo.

She’s seek­ing up to $3 mil­lion in dam­ages and her job back.

In his ter­mi­na­tion no­tice, the su­per­in­ten­dent also told Mi­randa she was no longer a “role model” because she ex­posed her breasts in the photo seen by her stu­dents.

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