“My future has been condemned because I am a female, with female breasts, seen in a mild selfie.”
A Long Island middle school teacher, who was fired after a student obtained a topless selfie of her, filed a notice of claim Monday against her former employer, alleging that her termination constitutes gender discrimination, Newsday reported.
25-year-old Lauren Miranda, who was fired Wednesday from her job at Bellport Middle School, suggested that the school is sexist for firing her, arguing that the distribution of a topless photo of a male teacher would never have resulted in his termination.
“I am a teacher who is being penalized for being a woman,” Miranda said during a news conference on Monday. “My future has been condemned because I am a female, with female breasts, seen in a mild selfie.”
— Scallywagandvagabond (@ScallywagNYC) April 1, 2019
Her attorney, John Ray, said Miranda’s naked breasts shouldn’t be such an issue in the liberated sexual climate engendered by millennials and Generation Z. “We are in the Millennial and Z Generation, and things have long changed since the days of Playboy magazine,” he said. “Today, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the display of a woman’s chest.”
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Ray also said officials from the South Country Central School District are “not woke yet.”
“They haven’t come to the realization that men and women are equal,” he said.
Miranda claims she texted the topless picture to a fellow teacher in the district who she was dating, but never sent the photo to any student, nor posted it to social media and has no idea how the student obtained the selfie. She is suing the school district, the superintendent and board of education members for $3 million for the effect her firing had on her mental wellbeing, her career and her reputation.
Miranda said she suffers from depression and anxiety as a result of being terminated.
She remains defiant that she did anything wrong when she allegedly texted the photo to her partner in 2016. “I’m proud of my body … Everything I have worked so hard for since I was 18 years old has been stolen from me because of one innocuous selfie,” she said. “My upper torso is no more offensive than a man’s.”
According to Newsday, South Country Superintendent Joseph Giani said in a statement that “the district does not comment on active litigation.”
Miranda’s gender discrimination case highlights changing cultural norms, as well as the proliferation of feminist and women’s rights ideology throughout all facets of American society.