A Connecticut art teacher has sued a private school that she says fired her for taking part in a racy photo shoot to show her support for President Donald Trump.
Chelsy Zelasko, 27, is filing the lawsuit against the Grove School in Madison, alleging wrongful termination. She is seeking $15,000 in damages.
Zelasko posed semi-nude, draped in an American flag and holding guns for an article published in 2016 by Scranton-based entertainment website Better Than the Weekend. Though a registered Democrat, she said she backed Trump because of his stance on firearms. The post, headlined “Female Trump Supporter Gets Naked to Make America Great Again,” quickly went viral.
According to Zelasko, the Grove School fired her two months ago following complaints from multiple parents who discovered the photos. She said the firing was politically motivated.
“I don’t feel like they should have let me go or fired me because of my political beliefs and what I believe in, I would never ever bring that into a classroom or nor would it affect my teaching skills at all,” she told ABC-affiliate WTNH Wednesday.
Zelasko’s attorney, Matthew Paradisi, suggested the school had infringed on his client’s constitutional right to “free expression.”
“It is a median or A subject that is about free expression, and to say that someone who exercises their right to freedom of expression, can’t be a role model to teach a subject about free expression, is more than a bit ironic,” Paradisi said.
“The law in Connecticut says an employer cannot fire you for doing that,” he added.
The Grove School did not return WTNH’s request for comment.
Chelsy Zelasko and intolerance for Trump
While liberal women stripping down for various political causes is a routine part of the media cycle, conservatives have tended to frown on such provocative activism. However, Trump has helped shake up the American right, including by pulling in some free-spirited Democrats like Zelasko.