Scott Hardie | April 17, 2019
What do you think of the firing of Lauren Miranda, or her lawsuit?

Short version: She's a teacher who sent a topless photo to her boyfriend, a fellow teacher. Her middle-school students later got their hands on it. The district fired her for it. She's now suing, on the grounds that a man wouldn't be fired for a topless photo and thus it's gender discrimination.

Erik Bates | April 17, 2019
Is the man she sent it to still employed by the school district? If so, I'd argue that, if she isn't the one responsible for the photo getting into the students' hands, then he is, and should be fired for, as the article stated:

“[failing] to take adequate precautionary measures” to keep the photo out of students’ hands and for “caus[ing], allow[ing], or otherwise [making] it possible” for them to obtain it.


Which student improperly accessed the private property of another person with the intent of distributing the stolen information? That student should be expelled or somehow punished.

Couple this with the idea that in New York, a woman being topless isn't illegal if it is in a place in which men can also be topless.

So to your, and her point of discrimination, I'd say that yes, if a man wouldn't be fired for sending a shirtless photo of himself to a teacher who was consenting of receiving said photo, then she shouldn't be fired for doing the same.

If she were sending the photo to a student, or a non-consenting adult, I'm sure there are school policies in place, if not outright laws, that would govern such behavior. I say this because, the photo, from the context I'm getting, is intended to be sexual in nature. As such, a teacher sending a sexual photo to a student, or a colleague sending an unwanted sexual photo to a fellow colleague is inappropriate and possibly illegal in that context.

Scott Hardie | April 17, 2019
Yeah, I'm with you on pretty much all of it. I find the district's decision outrageous. It's grossly sexist and unfair to blame her for the actions of her boyfriend and for the students. She did nothing wrong. But sure, let's blame the victim of a sex crime, and ruin her career to add to the public humiliation she's already enduring.

I'd really like to know what specific "adequate precautionary measures" the district would like her to have taken. The only meaning I can take from that sentence is that they want her not to have sent the photo in the first place. No other explanation that I can think of makes sense.

She has legal counsel, so she must have already considered whether to go law enforcement over this. What happened to her is a violation. New York just strengthened its revenge porn laws, too late for her I guess. At a minimum, the boyfriend deserves to be fired for sharing the photo, unless he can demonstrate that he was hacked.

I'd also discipline the students passing around the photo. They're young enough to behave impulsively and foolishly, so I wouldn't inflict a permanent punishment like expulsion, but they're definitely also old enough to learn that there are consequences to actions like this.

I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know about the merits of the gender discrimination lawsuit. There was definitely some gender discrimination here -- a woman was punished for the actions of a man and boys who took advantage of her -- but that's not the kind of discrimination she's alleging, and the kind that she is alleging is wrong but not (in my humble opinion) such a significant injustice as the cause of her firing. I want her to win a wrongful termination suit, but not necessarily like this.

Erik Bates | April 18, 2019

The only meaning I can take from that sentence is that they want her not to have sent the photo in the first place.


The problem here isn't that the picture was sent. The problem is that the school board is upset that this woman would have the audacity to even consider taking such a photo.

From the sounds of it, the only way to guarantee 100% that the photo never gets out is that the photo can never exist.

Scott Hardie | April 19, 2019
Yes. Sexting is a perfectly common, ordinary thing that people do now. Public attitudes need to catch up. I remember "Celebgate" a few years ago, and how many pundits blamed the victims of the crime for their own fate, saying that they shouldn't have taken the photos. Even Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which has gone out of its way to show victims in a sympathetic light and advance the dialogue on rape culture, had a scene where one detective suggested investigating Celebgate and Sgt. Benson shot him down, saying, "If those women didn't want their photos leaked, they shouldn't have taken them." Ouch.

As long as we're on this topic, something else I've been wondering: How do unsolicited dick pics go unpunished? This is a sadly common phenomenon now, men sending these unwanted photographs to women. Do the recipients not have 1) the phone number of the sender and 2) photographic evidence unique to his body, which would be enough for him to be caught and prosecuted? A quick search online tells me that public exposure is usually a misdemeanor the first time, but can escalate to a felony upon repeated violations. I doubt that a man caught doing it once has only done it once. I certainly get that some women don't want to risk retribution for going to the police, and others simply don't want the hassle. It just sounds to me like such an open-and-shut case for police and prosecutors that I'm surprised that (as far as I know) it usually goes unpunished.


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