Apparrently not in Austin, Texas.
I considered going to the pit for this, and it may wind up there.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Until they found the topless photos, Austin High School officials considered Tamara Hoover an excellent art teacher with a knack for helping students find their creativity.
What happened is that topless pictures of Ms. Hoover wound up on the internet. The pictures are described as art. Apparently, no sexual activity was involved, though I’m not sure that matters for the purposes of my argument.
I’m most concerned about these two paragraphs:
*The school district said the photos were inappropriate and violate the “higher moral standard” expected of public school teachers. As she was escorted out of class last month she was told that she’s become an ineffective teacher.
The district wants to revoke her teaching certification, which would keep her out of Texas classrooms permanently. Hoover will appeal the ruling and is prepared to take the case to court, she said.*
I see no logical nexus in her ability to teach and the existence of nude pictures on the internet. I see no threat of harm to a child by the existence of those pictures. Teachers don’t forfeit the right to freedom of expression in their personal lives by virtue of accepting employment with the State or political subdivisions thereof. There is no mention of her being charged with any crime. Perhaps she is guilty of choosing unwisely in posing for the pictures, given where she lives, but even that is arguable.
As I see it, firing the woman is bad enough, and probably grounds for a lawsuit. Trying to revoke her teaching certification is outrageous. If she was a good teacher before the pictures were posted, she’s still a good teacher.
That said, I’m not sure how the US Supreme Court would rule on this, considering recent changes on the bench. I miss Justice O’Conner…not that I ever even met her, or always agreed with her, but her vote was pretty important in close cases.
What sayeth the Dopers?