Should teachers be fired for nude pics from their past?
Lauren Miranda sent a nude selfie to a boyfriend years ago. Somehow one of her students discovered it.
- Math teacher Lauren Miranda was fired from her Long Island school when a topless selfie surfaced.
- Miranda had only shared the photo with her ex-boyfriend, who is also a teacher in the school district.
- She's suing the school for $3 million as well as getting her job back, citing gender discrimination.
Chalk it up to the recurring "blame the woman" sentiment one gender has endured for eons. Only this woman is fighting back.
Math teacher Lauren Miranda walked into Bellport Middle School, situated blocks from Long Island's Bellport Bay, as she did every other January day. Only this one took a turn for the worse when a male student revealed he was in possession of a topless selfie of her.
At first, Miranda didn't even recognize the photo. Then she realized she had sent it to a male teacher in the district she had previously been dating. So far, she is still not sure how the photo leaked.
Miranda then had to meet with her (predominantly male) superiors and colleagues, who decided to fire her from her post despite an impeccable teaching record. Instead of cowering to the demand, however, she told Inside Edition:
"There's nothing wrong with my picture. My picture's pure, it's womanly. I think my body is beautiful, he thinks my body is beautiful also. Why should I not be able to take that picture?"
Then she hit the school district with a $3 million lawsuit and is demanding her job back. The focus of the lawsuit? Gender discrimination.
Should a teacher be fired after students discover a topless photo?
The firing seems ill-advised, especially considering other situations between students and teachers. Earlier this year in Arizona, sixth-grade teacher Brittany Zamora was discovered to be carrying on a relationship with a 13-year-old student. The teacher allegedly fondled the boy in class and had sex with him in front of another student. She was placed on administrative leave.
Former Miss Kentucky, Ramsey Bearse, was suspended from her position as a middle school science teacher in West Virginia after being accused of texting nude photographs to a 15-year-old former student over Snapchat last year.
There is no shortage of teacher-student relationships over the past few decades. Unsurprisingly, most media attention is devoted to female teachers and male students.
In Miranda's case, there was no relationship or sexting. Just the machinations of our digital lives impeding on personal privacy once again.
Yet we've entered a new and refreshing phase in American society, one in which women like Miranda don't back down when receiving unwarranted criticism or losing their job. Joseph Giani, the school district's superintendent, stated that he was about to recommend Miranda for a promotion before he saw the selfie; Miranda had received the top rating in every category the previous year during an evaluation.
Giani then said that Miranda "failed to take adequate precautionary measures" for blocking students from gaining access to the three-year-old photo, and even "caused, allowed, or otherwise made it possible" for students to get a hold of it.
Outside of Miranda's ex-boyfriend's phone or computer being hacked, there is likely only one other explanation. Worst case scenario, it's a plot between Miranda and her ex. Even if that were the case, however, the school board's reaction is overblown.
Director Lina Esco attends 'Free The Nipple' New York Premiere at IFC Center on December 11, 2014 in New York City.
(Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
It's time for men to grow up and reckon with female sexuality. Scroll through any fitness feed in Instagram and you'll quickly discover thousands of dudes with their shirts off. Women have to spend extra time doctoring any "revealing" photo they want to post to ensure that their nipples are blurred or blacked out.
This entire spectacle reminds me of my first visit to France in 2000. Bus stops featured topless women; magazine stands were filled with nipples from every gender. From there, we traveled to Barcelona, where beaches do not discriminate when it comes to stripping down. None of this presentation or behavior is perceived as sexual or "dirty." It's simply part of the social fabric of expression.
Not in sexually repressed America, which is still waging a 400-year-long Puritanical battle against the female body. Instead of an opportunity for discussing femininity and feminism in the Long Island classroom, male administrators fell back on the expected: Ban the female. Honest conversations about sexuality and boundaries with students would provide actual teachable moments instead of the circus this has become.
It's time to stop blaming women for men's inability to control themselves. Freeing the nipple is only the first step into a broader and necessary discussion regarding human bodies. Until men are willing to engage in a meaningful dialogue on the subject, women will continue to be the victim of male immaturity, vitriol, and violence. That's no way to educate anyone.
Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live this Thursday at 1pm ET.
Scientists discover the inner workings of an effect that will lead to a new generation of devices.
- Researchers discover a method of extracting previously unavailable information from superconductors.
- The study builds on a 19th-century discovery by physicist Edward Hall.
- The research promises to lead to a new generation of semiconductor materials and devices.
Credit: Gunawan/Nature magazine
Students who think the world is just cheat less, but they need to experience justice to feel that way.
- Students in German and Turkish universities who believed the world is just cheated less than their pessimistic peers.
- The tendency to think the world is just is related to the occurence of experiences of justice.
- The findings may prove useful in helping students adjust to college life.
The world is just? That’s news to a lot of people.<p>The study is the most recent addition to a long line of work focusing on the belief in justice, our behavior, and our reactions to evidence that might suggest injustice occasionally occurs. This study focuses on a personal belief in a just world, (PBJW) rather than a general belief in a just world (GBJW). The difference between them must be highlighted.</p><p>GBJW is the stance that justice prevails all over the world and that people tend to get what they deserve. PBJW is more focused on the individual's social environment and their belief that they tend to be treated justly. While several studies show PBJW correlates with a higher sense of well-being and a variety of other positive effects, a high GBJW is associated with less life satisfaction, negative behavior, and callousness towards the suffering of <a href="https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-1-4939-3216-0" target="_blank">others</a>. This study controlled for GBJW, and focused on PBJW as much as possible. </p><p>To assure that culture was not a factor, the study included students at universities in both Germany and Turkey. </p><p>The researchers gave students at the four participating universities a series of questionnaires that asked if they ever cheated in class, if they perceived the world to be just, if they though that justice always prevailed everywhere, their tendencies towards socially appropriate behavior, their life satisfaction, and if they felt like they were treated justly by their teachers and fellow students. </p><p>The answers were statistically analyzed for relationships. While some of the connections seem trivially true, others were surprising. <strong></strong></p><p>PBJW turned out to only be an indirect predictor of if a student was likely to cheat. Both a belief in a just world and a lower likelihood of cheating were mediated by the justice experiences of the students, with more of these positive experiences lowering the rate of cheating and improving their belief in justice. This was also associated with higher levels of life satisfaction. </p><p>These effects existed across all demographics in both countries. </p>
What does this mean? Is a belief in justice a self-fulfilling prophecy?<iframe width="730" height="430" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6oMv-azHNCA" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>In a way, it seems to be. People who have reason to think the world is just to them tend to interpret events in a way to sustain that belief and behave in a just manner. In a larger sense, the take away from this study is that experiences of justice, both from peers and instructors, is vital to student's wellbeing and understanding that the rules that exist about cheating are part of a larger, legitimate, system. </p><p>The researchers, citing previous studies on the perception of justice, note that "justice experiences (1) signal that university students are esteemed members of their social group, which in turn conveys feelings of belonging and social inclusion and (2) motivate them to accept and observe university rules and norms. These cognitive processes may thus strengthen their well-being and decrease the likelihood that they cheat."</p><p>The authors also suggest that if you want people (not only students) to act justly; consider treating them with "civility, respect, and dignity."</p><p>Sometimes, all it can take to help somebody act virtuously is to treat them well. Likewise, people treated harshly can rarely find reason to play by rules that don't protect them. The findings of this study will certainly add to the literature on how we perceive justice in the world around us, but might also help us remember that there are real consequences to our actions which can be much larger than we imagine. <strong></strong></p>
This could change how researchers approach vaccine development.
- The reason children suffer less from the novel coronavirus has remained mysterious.
- Researchers identified a cytokine, IL-17A, which appears to protect children from the ravages of COVID-19.
- This cytokine response could change how researchers approach vaccine development.
A member of staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a child's temperature at the Harris Academy's Shortland's school on June 04, 2020 in London, England.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images<p>Experts don't want to place kids at the back of the line, regardless of how strong their immune systems appear. At least one company, Moderna, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-vaccine-for-kids-moderna-plans-pediatric-trial-2020-9" target="_blank">hopes to begin testing</a> vaccines in pediatric volunteers by year's end.</p><p>Innate immune response is especially high during childhood (compared to adaptive immunity). This makes evolutionary sense: nature wants an animal to survive until its ready to procreate. Turns out the children in the study possessed high levels of cytokines that boost their immune response. The biggest impact is made by IL-17A, which appears to protect the youngest cohort from the ravages of the coronavirus. </p><p>While both age groups produced antibodies to fight off the infamous spike protein, adults that produce neutralizing antibodies actually suffer a <em>worse</em> fate. Herold says this "over-vigorous adaptive immune response" might promote inflammation, triggering acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). </p><p>This matters for vaccine development. As Herold says, </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Our adult COVID-19 patients who fared poorly had high levels of neutralizing antibodies, suggesting that convalescent plasma—which is rich in neutralizing antibodies—may not help adults who have already developed signs of ARDS. By contrast, therapies that boost innate immune responses early in the course of the disease may be especially beneficial."</p><p>Herold says current vaccine trials are focused on boosting neutralizing-antibody levels. With this new information, researchers may want to work on vaccines that boost the innate immune response instead. </p><p>With <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html" target="_blank">at least 55 vaccine trials</a> underway, every piece of data matters. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Researchers from the University of Toronto published a new map of cancer cells' genetic defenses against treatment.