Teacher files $3m lawsuit over claims she was fired from her job due to topless selfie
A maths teacher has filed a $3 million lawsuit after she was fired from her job when a topless selfie she sent a former boyfriend resurfaced in the hands of a student.
Lauren Miranda, a Bellport Middle School teacher, was reportedly fired on Wednesday after a pupil recently obtained the image she had sent to her former partner, who is also a teacher who worked at a different school, two years ago.
But the Long Island educator claims the private photo was acquired without her consent and wants her job back. This week, she began a gender discrimination lawsuit, stating that she would not "roll over and hide".
Miranda's lawyer, John Ray, said that his client was "wrongfully chastised" by school officials over the photo and dismissed for "not being a proper school 'role model".
The 25-year-old, who says she doesn't know how the student in question got hold of the selfie, spoke out at a press conference today, stating there is nothing inherently offensive about the "pure" picture.
"It's pure. I'm getting makeup in one hand, and I'm taking a picture in the other," she said. "What kind of role model am I, to now roll over and hide? I am showing my face and saying something happened to me that I didn't want."
She added that she wanted to fight the case in order to provide a strong example to her former students and asserted that a male teacher would never be subject to such treatment.
According to the New York Post, her lawyer also commented on the case on Monday, stating: "Long ago, she sent her topless unremarkable selfie to her companion, never to anyone else. By unknown means, a student obtained it. The school district took possession of it, excoriated her, and fired her because her breasts were displayed."
Ray, who claimed not to know if the student who came by the photo was ever punished, continued: "This would never have happened to a male teacher. The Suffolk County Administrators and School Board have not yet discovered that women are equal to men. Lauren is rightly proud of her female torso. A woman’s breasts are not inherently prurient."
District officials declined to comment on the case, citing pending litigation.
The American case comes after Russian educators took to social media to share revealing images of themselves, after teacher Tatiana Kuvshinnikova was reportedly accused of dressing "like a prostitute" and fired for posting pictures of herself wearing short dresses and bikinis online.
As reported by Siberian news site Sibreal, school director Olga Ga sent the 38-year-old a letter, reading: "This is how prostitutes dress – high heels, dress above the knees, and everything on show. Who are you trying to lure? You do not have the right to use the title ‘teacher’. You are a stain on the reputation of the school. It is not surprising that boy pupils are in love with you, and there is only one step left to paedophilia."
However, after hearing about the shocking situation, other teachers from around Russia took to the internet to protest, with dozens posting revealing pictures of themselves to prove that teacher are humans too and have the right to wear and do whatever they want.
"What double standards? Why do we divide people into 2 groups: normal and teachers?" one commented, while another added: "I myself am a teacher and the whole absurdity of this situation is simply amazing."