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Old 06-20-2006, 04:45 PM   #31
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If you choose to pose naked, and for those pictures to go into the public eye (she could have sued her partner for those pictures to be removed. She instead chose not to), it's a little disingenuous to complain when the public says it's inappropriate.

Private lives are private lives, and what happens there is and should be private. Putting private activity into the public eye, however (and the Internet is a public arena), brings a whole new level of scrutiny. Personal freedom is not the same as public license. Particularly when there are children at stake.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:02 PM   #32
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Originally posted by WildHoneyAlways


Again, who determines the guidelines? If these guidelines were to be spelled out they would be a contractual issue.
Elected officials. Just like all the other guidelines we live by.



As "contractual issues" you've always got a union looking out for the best interests of the children.
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:03 PM   #33
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
There was a time not too long ago when women teachers were not allowed to work if they were pregnant. About 30 or so years to be exact.
I remember one of my gradeschool teachers back in Mississippi being pregnant (in the late 70s) and a lot of kids parents' were scandalized by that. As far as I could tell, their reaction had nothing to do with the idea that she was too "fragile" to teach or anything "health"-related like that--instead, they actually seemed to see it as obscene somehow that a nonrelated woman in such a condition would be teaching their children. Like it was forcing them to be confronted too early with the realities of what happens when people have sex or something. I found that bizarre, but then my parents just told us the truth about what happened (in age-appropriately abbreviated form) when my mother was pregnant with my younger siblings. Maybe other kids' parents didn't do that.

What kinds of rules do primary and secondary schools have currently about what sorts of activities teachers can be involved in outside of school? For instance, to follow up on nathan's example, if a teacher had neo-Nazi beliefs would they be freely able to promote or post those online, so long as they did not discuss them at school?
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Old 06-20-2006, 05:50 PM   #34
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just so long as she isn't a lesbian.
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Old 06-20-2006, 06:07 PM   #35
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Well actually there was also a teacher about whom that was rumored to be true, I think pretty much correctly...but she was hardly "out" or anything, so it was OK. That was a funny thing about those small Southern towns back then...everybody knew everybody else's business, but those particular identities weren't politicized then in the way they are now, so certain kinds of things could "pass" beneath the all-purpose veneer of "eccentricity" without anyone getting worked up about it, in a way that would never happen now.

Maybe you were talking about the teacher in the article though.
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Old 06-20-2006, 06:13 PM   #36
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i was kidding -- but that's interesting, i've heard from other southerners that gay people were commonly referred to as simply "eccentrics" so as not to disrupt small town harmony.
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:25 AM   #37
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Elected officials. Just like all the other guidelines we live by.



As "contractual issues" you've always got a union looking out for the best interests of the children.
My union won't allow language in our contract referring to a dress code for teachers. I highly doubt teachers would approve such a contract. I do believe that a teacher's union represents certified personnel at the bargaining table.

And these elected officials you speak of, the school board perhaps? I don't see it happening. It's absolutely insulting.
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:29 AM   #38
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
I went to a very conservative, religiously strict high school and one of our chem teachers got caught making videotapes of his neighbor undressing. He'd stand outside her window and tape her. Surprisingly, the school let the law take care of it and he still teaches. In fact, the students made a big stink about the possibility of firing him because everyone loved him.

I'm quite shocked that he would be allowed to teach at a school; he could possibly sneak through the cracks of some of the unaccredited private schools, but I'm quite certain he would not be able to teach in public schools in Alabama. Do you realize the risk, danger and liability he poses at a school environment?

I'm not trying to tell your school what to do, but that sounds like it could have led to a disaster if not tragedy.

And on the issue of the teacher and her dirty photos, I think it would be wise for educators to refrain from such activity. Maybe the system revoking her license after the fact, absent any standing policy addressing it, is extreme, but I certainly think public school boards (and private school administrations) should have the right to prohibit teachers and other education workers from being involved in porn and other smut-related activities.

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Old 06-21-2006, 12:38 AM   #39
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And on the issue of the teacher and her dirty photos, I think it would be wise for educators to refrain from such activity. Maybe the system revoking her license after the fact, absent any standing policy addressing it, is extreme, but I certainly think public school boards (and private school administrations) should have the right to prohibit teachers and other education workers from being involved in porn and other smut-related activities.

~U2Alabama
One man's smut is another's art. Barring breaking the law, school boards should stay out of a teacher's private life.
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Old 06-21-2006, 11:22 AM   #40
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One man's smut is another's art. Barring breaking the law, school boards should stay out of a teacher's private life.
It's not private when you post it on the internet.
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Old 06-21-2006, 11:51 AM   #41
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In this case, it was the woman's partner who posted the photos.


Where would the restrictions stop?
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Old 06-21-2006, 11:55 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by WildHoneyAlways
In this case, it was the woman's partner who posted the photos.


Where would the restrictions stop?
Yes, no one is answering the logical questions:

What would the restrictions be?

Who would decide what the restrictions are?

How would they be monitored/enforced/punished?
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:14 PM   #43
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The teacher was on Rita Cosby last night

COSBY: In tonight‘s hot topic, a Texas a teacher is in hot water after topless photos of herself were posted online. Art teacher Tamara Hoover was suspended after the school discovered these pictures of her. Now she is fighting to get her job back. She insists she did nothing wrong. And we‘re joined now by Tamara Hoover and on the phone with us is her attorney, Jay Brim. Tamara, why did you allow these photos to be put on the Web to begin with?

TAMARA HOOVER, SUSPENDED FOR NUDE PHOTOS: I happen to live with a documentary photographer and I didn‘t necessarily allow the pictures to be on the Web. She chooses what she wants to put on the Web. It‘s completely up to her discretion.

COSBY: But didn‘t you voice concerns saying, “Oh, I‘m a teacher, or just no matter what, anybody, why would you want your pictures up there? Why would wouldn‘t you say, wait, wait, wait, maybe don‘t put those ones up?”

HOOVER: I don‘t feel as if I have a choice in what she puts up. I trust Alesta (ph) and I feel like I was helping her hone her skills as a photographer.

COSBY: So this was about art, and not your...?

HOOVER: Absolutely. It was actually done in a private session, and, you know, she‘s—she takes pictures candidly sometimes and some of them are set up. I feel like they‘re art.

COSBY: But doesn‘t it bother you now? Because when you realize the Internet is, you know, worldwide, it exposes you to everybody including your students and including obviously other faculty members. Do you regret clearly making that decision to let her put these pictures up?

HOOVER: No. I don‘t regret—again, I don‘t—I didn‘t allow her to do anything. She chooses what she wants to put in her portfolio. The only thing I would regret is if any of my students had been adversary affected by any of the media attention or anything like that.

COSBY: Now, how did the school discover that these pictures online? Because I can tell you a lot of people would say don‘t put these pictures up, you‘re a teacher. You should have different standards, if you will. But how did it all come about that it was discovered?

HOOVER: Another teacher had some issues and expressed them in a class, and a student had...

COSBY: ... There was word that that teacher actually was angry at you over art equipment, and this was sort of payback, is that right?

HOOVER: Well, that‘s hearsay. But that‘s—I think that would be a good assumption.

COSBY: And how angry were you when you found that out, and now to hear that your students were looking at that? Aren‘t you embarrassed?

HOOVER: I was disappointed that that action was taken and not addressed to me personally.

COSBY: And are you embarrassed now that your students were looking at these pictures?

HOOVER: I‘m not embarrassed by anything that I‘ve done. I feel like the photographer is an extremely talented photographer, and I believe that they were done in good taste.

COSBY: And what was—you know, your sexual orientation, I know you have a partner, a female partner. Do you believe you have been suspended because of the pictures or your sexual orientation or both?

HOOVER: I don‘t feel like my sexual orientation has anything to do with my suspension.

COSBY: And what was your reaction when they said they were suspending you? Because this is what the school had to say, Tamara. They said “the photos were inappropriate and violate the higher moral standard expended of public school teachers.”

You know, a lot of people would say, I don‘t want my teacher doing any naked photos online.

HOOVER: I don‘t feel as if I have violated any moral standard.

COSBY: You don‘t?

HOOVER: Yes, I don‘t.

COSBY: Why not? Because don‘t you think a teacher should be held up to a higher value, a higher standard? Don‘t you think you need to lead by example for your students?

HOOVER: Of course. I think that teachers should be examples. But what we do in our private lives should be left alone.

COSBY: Let me bring in your attorney, Jay. Jay, how difficult do you think it is for her to get her job back, and do you understand why she doesn‘t even regret that they were on there, regret that students saw it? Do you think the school is having a problem with her saying, look, it‘s just art?

JAY BRIM, REPRESENTING TAMARA HOOVER: Rita, she hasn‘t lost her job yet. She still is employed by the school district.

COSBY: Right, but she is suspended temporarily. I know she is trying to get back and get reinstated. How frustrating is it?

BRIM: No, she is not, Rita, she is not. Remember the school year is over. She was suspended for one week for the end of the school term. And now we are in the midst of the due process under Texas law.

COSBY: What do you think is going to happen? And do you think look under free speech, you can put certain things up, you can do it? There is an issue though she is a teacher.

BRIM: Rita, the first thing you have to keep in front of you is that she didn‘t put these pictures up. Someone else did.

HOOVER: Right, but she allowed them, as you just said, and she didn‘t have a problem with them going up, .

BRIM: Well no, she said that she thinks it‘s art, and she understands that the photographer made her own choice about that and she trusts the photographer. But she never did give permission for those to go up. They were done in the circumstance where they weren‘t intended for students to see them.

COSBY: What do you think is going to happen now, Jay? What do you think the chances are? Clearly students did see them, and this is someone who she is a partner with put the pictures up. She looked at the pictures. What do you think is going to happen now? What‘s the chances that you think things will go back to normal? Because one of the other issues is as as we know, the district is looking at revoking her teaching certificate. Where do you think your chances stand?

BRIM: That‘s not true, that the district is looking at revoking her teaching credentials, that‘s not the way it works in Texas. The district doesn‘t have anything to do with that.

COSBY: So who is looking at revoking it possibly?

BRIM: Nobody.

COSBY: Nobody is? Because we were told that they were possibly looking at that action, which a lot of us were agreeing and in fact there were some published reports saying that. Are those reports not true?

BRIM: I‘m not sure what you‘re looking at. But under the Texas system, if and when she actually got terminated by the school district, there would be a report made to the state commission of education‘s office.

COSBY: And it hasn‘t gotten to that point yet?

BRIM: They would do a separate investigation of whether or not there was something that happened that might actually impinge her certificate. There is a difference between being employed by a school district and being qualified to teach. And it‘s two different actions involved.
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:16 PM   #44
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COSBY: All right, well let me bring in if I could to the conversation, let‘s bring in defense attorney Kimberly Lerner and also former prosecutor Wendy Murphy.

Wendy, what‘s your reaction to this? I mean, should—again, she is suspended. As we‘re just hearing now, some new information different than a lot of the reports out there. But suspended for one week. Appropriate or not, Wendy?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, I actually think she deserves a harsher punishment. And one of the things I haven‘t heard yet, but I did read in a wire story, was that this was not sort of accidental, she didn‘t know it was going on.

COSBY: Well you actually even heard Wendy, I mean she even said, look, this is her partner, she knew she was putting them up. She was fine with it. It‘s art.

MURPHY: Right, but this is not her private life when it‘s on the Internet. And I read a story that said she actually showed the pictures to her students on a school computer. You have got to be kidding me. And for her to be sitting here...

COSBY: ... Let me bring her in. Tamara, is that true? Did you show them?

HOOVER: That‘s absolutely not true. These were never intended for the kids to see. That‘s a false statement.

MURPHY: OK, well that‘s what I read.

COSBY: Were you ever showing them in any condition?

HOOVER: I never showed the students. I never advertised the Web site to the students.

KIMBERLY LERNER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Rita, if I may just interrupt.

COSBY: Yes, go ahead, Kim.

LERNER: I believe the story said that Gayle Andrews, the other teacher, when she was informed by one of the students that these pictures existed, she accessed a computer in the school with other students around and she showed the students the pictures.

COSBY: Yes, and I have heard that, I have heard that. And what do you say about that? Because this is the other issue you hit on, Kim. This other teacher, as we‘re hearing from Tamara, essentially sort of ratted her out, if you will, over art equipment. Is that fair, Kim?

LERNER: You know, this whole thing is extremely disturbing. What she does in her personal life is none of anyone‘s business, except if she‘s committing a crime or if it interferes with her ability to teach. By all accounts, she is an excellent teacher. Now the school talks about this higher moral standard. I think Ms. Andrews morals should be brought into question.

COSBY: This is the teacher who ratted her out.

MURPHY: Come on, come on, Rita?

LERNER: Absolutely, are you kidding me?

COSBY: Wendy? What about comparing her to all of these other cases, like Debra Lafave, also Pamela Turner. Is it fair? You know, because there are different cases, these are folks who were involved in sexual activities with students.

MURPHY: This is not her private life, this is a public matter.

COSBY: But is it fair to say that she goes in the same realm? Is that an unfair comparison?

MURPHY: It is a very appropriate comparison, even though there is no evidence that she has sexual assaulted or done anything to exploit a child. She knew the students knew about the pictures.

LERNER: But she didn‘t commit a crime.

MURPHY: That is not the issue.

HOOVER: I did know.

MURPHY: And I‘ll tell you something, if she ever did sexually exploit a child, this would be exhibit one in the criminal prosecution.

COSBY: Let me bring in Tamara. Both of you—let me bring you Tamara. I understand you‘re going to say obviously the students you didn‘t show the students, right?

HOOVER: No.

COSBY: That you didn‘t share them, you didn‘t want the students available.

HOOVER: No. I was never intending for the students to see it. I never advertised it for the students to see. I have never been sexually involved with a student.

LERNER: Rita, if she had been on a nude beach and a student had seen him, would she be in the same predicament?

MURPHY: She knew they were on the Internet. She let her students see them because she knew that students use the Internet. You have to stop saying she had a right to do this.

LERNER: She had an absolute right. This is her personal life.

MURPHY: She also can‘t get drunk and walk down the middle of Main Street and say she has the right to do that as a teacher too even though it‘s not a crime. She has a morals clause. She knows she‘s held to a higher standard. She did it anyway. And to call it art is irrelevant.

LERNER: But you‘re making a moral judgment.

COSBY: Kimberly, go ahead.

MURPHY: Her contract makes a moral judgment.

LERNER: You are making a judgment call that these photos were not artistic. It‘s your moral judgment call.

MURPHY: You not showing the topless photos where the spikes and the whips and the chains. Why aren‘t those being shown? How does that affect your moral judgment? You‘re just showing these soft pictures that don‘t at all look sexual. The description of the photographs that she got in trouble for are highly sexual and erotic her sticking her tongue out with her partner, doing sexually erotic things.

HOOVER: They are not sexual.

COSBY: Tamara, go ahead. But Tamara, is it fair to say that everybody‘s interpretation of art is different, Tamara. Is that fair to say?

HOOVER: Absolutely. Art is open for interpretation. The few pictures that are in question have been taken out of context. And the body of work is an amazing body of work. And it is art.

MURPHY: It doesn‘t matter.

COSBY: Let me bring in Kimberly and then I‘ll get to you, Wendy. First of all, what do you think—should a teacher be held to a higher standard, and is it one of these things we say, just stay away from it? Kimberly?

LERNER: You know, it‘s a slippery slope. I think that teachers should be held to a high standard. But it reaches a point that what if you find out a teacher had an abortion and you don‘t like that and you think that‘s against your morals? She should lose her job? These are topless photos.

COSBY: Let me bring in Wendy. Wendy, where do you draw the line?

MURPHY: This is very, very simple as line drawing goes. Teachers, students, and sex do not go together, period, end of discussion. There is not even a close question here. There should not be a sexually erotic teacher on the Internet with students who she has a responsibility to, period.

COSBY: Let me bring in Tamara, Tamara, I‘m going to give you the last final word.

HOOVER: I agree.

COSBY: You get the last word, Tamara.

HOOVER: Absolutely I agree. Never should you ever say teachers, sex, and students in the same sentence. And I have not participated in either of those. I participated in...

MURPHY: Naked bodies, whips and chains, are you kidding?

COSBY: Let her answer, Tamara, go ahead.

HOOVER: I‘m sorry that you feel that way. But I have not participated in anything immoral or overtly sexual in nature, and I have not ever sent that to the students or included the students in that part of my life.

COSBY: OK, that‘s going to have to be the last word. And again, the students did get a glimpse of it and again, not your intent but certainly that is what happened. Tamara, thank you very much.
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:21 PM   #45
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I happen to live with a documentary photographer and I didn‘t necessarily allow the pictures to be on the Web. She chooses what she wants to put on the Web. It‘s completely up to her discretion.
Did she give the photographer a release? If not, any harm she incurs regarding her teaching credentials, she has a claim against the photographer.
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