Lauren Miranda took a selfie almost three years ago while she was getting dressed.
The selfie, which showed Lauren just sitting around topless, was sent to her then-boyfriend and no one else.
Now she's been fired for it.
Miranda was a teacher in Long Island, and early in the year some students got a hold of that selfie. It isn't known how, nor was it really investigated.
There were rumors going around that one of the older teenage students had gotten his hands on a nude photo of one of the teachers, but Miranda wasn't concerned when she heard them since she had never sent anything like that to a student nor did she keep anything like that on her phone or computer.
However, she was called up to the Principal's office for a meeting with other staff members. During that meeting, the principal pulled up that years-old selfie onto his computer screen and asked her to confirm that it was, in fact, her.
After a verbal berating and attempt at shaming, she still refused to resign since she did not send the image to a student. Miranda was put on leave and eventually fired.
Superintendent Joseph Giani questioned Miranda, asking her how he could possibly put her in a classroom full of boys if they can pull out their phones and eventually access a topless image of her. He made no mention of female students or of any of the students ability to easily access images of their male teachers topless.
Later, the superintendent sent Miranda a letter explaining why he opted to fire her.
In it, Giani stated:
"you caused, allowed, or otherwise made it possible for a nude and/or inappropriate photograph of yourself to be distributed."
The problem is that Miranda only sent that image to one person - her boyfriend at the time. He happens to also be a teacher in the same school district, but nobody has looked into whether he may have left the image in his phone for students to possibly access.
Miranda alone was reprimanded, being told in the letter that she "failed to take adequate precautionary measures" to be sure no students got the picture she took years ago, only sent to one person, and hadn't really thought about since.
Also in the letter was a comment stating another reason for her firing:
"You transmitted to a colleague a nude and/or inappropriate photo of yourself."
That colleague was her boyfriend, who consented to receiving the image. He saw no discipline or reprimand for requesting or receiving "nude and/or inappropriate" photos from a "colleague."
He saw no investigation into whether he failed to take adequate precautionary measures.
That all seems totally fair and balanced.
But Lauren Miranda isn't letting her career go without a fight and she's got plenty of good reason for it.
Firstly, there is nothing sexual about the image. She is just sitting there.
The school allowed male teachers to regularly be completely topless while physically in the presence of children in the gym and in the swimming areas. Since there's nothing sexual about her image, she wasn't around the students when she took it and she wasn't the one who gave it to the students, she doesn't feel she should be punished for it.
Secondly, Miranda has a history as an exemplary teacher.
She's consistently been given top marks and high ranks across the board. In fact, her 2018 review showed her at the highest possible ratings in most categories - including the level of respect between her and her students. In other words she was an effective teacher both from the administrative angle and the student relations angle.
We all know those kinds of teachers are rare and valuable, so Miranda is questioning why such a high value teacher would be fired when they had no part in the incident.
Finally, Miranda and her attorney take umbrage with the idea that a woman's torso is inherently sexual. In many major cities it's totally legal for a woman to go topless.
The male teachers are allowed to be topless while they're with the students. What makes Miranda different if she was doing nothing sexual in the image?
They are so adamant that there's nothing wrong with the image that they have released it to the public along with other documents related to the case.
The superintendent told Miranda she could no longer be considered a role model, but she disagrees. She took a topless, nonsexual image a few years ago and sent it to her then-boyfriend.
That photo found its way into the hands of students. She had nothing to do with it and is making it a point to fight her firing while pointing out all of the double-standards and unfair treatment she has been subjected to along the way.
To her, the fact that she is fighting this proves that she's a role model.
"I am a role model. I'm standing up for what I believe in."
Teacher who said she was fired over topless selfie says she 'lost everything' www.youtube.com