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Teacher fired over topless selfie plans to sue school district

BELLPORT, N.Y. – A high school teacher from Long Island, New York, plans to sue her former school district after being fired, she claims, for a topless selfie.

Lauren Miranda, 25, has been teaching mathematics at Bellport Middle School for the past four years.

She says she took a topless selfie of herself in her bedroom in 2016 and sent it to a former boyfriend who somehow also leaked to at least one high school student in the school district. school.

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Miranda’s lawyer John Ray says the South Country School District inspector told Miranda that she was fired because she could no longer serve as a role model for the students. In January she was placed on administrative leave with paid wages and was dismissed by the school board last Wednesday.

Both Miranda and Ray say they have no idea how the photo ended up in the hands of a student.

Miranda plans to file a $ 3 million federal suit for gender discrimination, violating her rights as a woman. She said she won’t file the trial if the school district gives her her job back.

“What is wrong with my image?” she said. “It’s my breasts, it’s my breast, it’s my body, it’s something that needs to be celebrated.”

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Ray said the school district discriminates against Miranda because she is a woman.

“Every time a man has exposed his chest, no one has ever responded or had a problem with anything,” he said. “But when a woman shows her breast, as happened here, she is fired from her job.”

Miranda gave WABC her assessment of last school year, which showed that she was a ‘very effective teacher’.

The teacher’s observation assessment stated: “In this lesson, Miranda has proven to be an excellent math teacher, knowledgeable about her content, but above all sincerely committed to the academic progress of her students.”

Miranda was tenure in June and said that one of the reasons she started a lawsuit is to be a role model for female students.

“What message has that saying to the girls who have their pictures broadcast everywhere in high school and sent everywhere?” she said. “What message do we send to them? To roll if your photo is exposed without your permission or permission? So how am I not a role model for them now?”

The school district would not make anyone available to WABC to talk about the situation by saying in a statement on behalf of the inspector. Joseph Giani: “The district does not comment on active disputes.”

WABC reporter Kristin Thorne spoke with the parents about the photo.

“Whether it was her intention that a student get it or not, a student did it and you must be responsible for your actions,” Elder Randy Miller said.

Elder Arlene Henao said she was torn because it appears that Miranda had never intended a student to get the photo.

“I understand why she would be fired, but it’s probably more complicated than just a black and white situation,” she said.

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