Teacher who was forced to quit over swimsuit photos wins her job back after viral selfie protest
Ever since social media came to the fore as a prominent part of our lives, it's been causing problems for working professionals around the world. Drunk selfies are deterring bosses from hiring new employees, petty Twitter spats with strangers sometimes end up with people getting fired, and Insta stories showing individuals out and about when they're supposedly "too ill to come in" have landed a lot of people in hot water.
The issue is especially troublesome for teachers who, as many people seem to believe, should not be allowed a social life outside of their work (at least not one they talk about, anyway).
Of course, it makes sense for a teacher not to put too much personal information about themselves on the web, as students could quite easily get ahold of it and use it as blackmail, or - in a less malicious way - simply stop seeing them as the authority figure they're supposed to be.
So, when Viktoria Popova - a history teacher from Russia - posted photos of herself in a swimsuit to Instagram, she promptly found herself being fired.
Understandably, she was outraged by the school's decision to let her go, and argued that what she'd done was not indecent in any manner. In fact, she said, what she'd done was a pretty normal action for someone who has a social media account of some description.
"I wasn't posing in underwear or stockings," Popova said. "I wasn’t promoting some men’s saloon. People do take pictures nowadays. They pose for photos on holidays and post pictures online."
What's more, she said, "These photos were just for me … I do not work as a model, I just have training courses." They were never intended to go public, and only did so after someone who knew her alerted the school of the photos.
Fortunately, though, Popova was not the only one who felt an injustice in the school's decision. Many other teachers agreed with her stance, and - in an act of defiance - posted their own pictures to make a point.
Using the hashtag #TeachersAreHumansToo, dozens of educators took to Instagram in order to share not only their best bikini pics, but also their opinions on why teachers should be allowed to have the same social media freedom that almost everyone else does.
"Big secret: teachers are humans, too. They also relax, sunbathe, go to nightclubs, drink, eat chips, fall in love, make children," one woman wrote.
Originally, the Mayor's office stated that Popova had "damaged the image of the educational institution" and had tarnished "the high rank of the pedagogical worker." However, after the huge wave of support, city officials held a meeting between the fired teacher and the school administration, at which point authorities reconsidered their decision.
According to reports, Popova was offered the choice to either resume her teaching position at the same school or take up a new job at a different facility nearby. She has declined to comment on what she chose, but either way, her point was made loud and clear - and hopefully, other teachers won't have to deal with similar situations in the future.