Austin Art Teacher Fired For Nude Pics On Web.

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by rawbone8, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. rawbone8

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    "The first amendment serves not only the needs of the polity but also those of the human spirit — a spirit that demands self expression."


    High school art eacher Tamara Hoover got fired by the Austin Independent School District in Austin Texas this past June, because her partner (a professional photographer) had posted photos on flickr.com which included nudes of Tamara, as well as images of their domestic life (they are a lesbian couple), and a spiteful colleague on the same faculty had her art students view the pics on a classroom computer. Shit hit the fan and the outcome was that Tamara got suspended, a hearing was held, and she was fired.

    Austin is generally considered a forward thinking oasis in Texas, an attractive home to gays, artists, academics and more of "those types... of ughn-American values" than many other locales.

    The images were not pornographic but portrayed nudity. Her titties were visible. They've been taken down. The photographer Celesta Danger is an artist and was the originating poster, not Tamara.

    One interesting statement I read was that by this argument, Georgia O'Keefe, acknowleged as one of America's greatest artists, (hypothetically, were she living today) would be unable to teach art in the high school system, because she posed nude for her partner, the great American photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

    Did Tamara deserve to get the can? Why?

    Was there another agenda involved here?

    How does this influence your own decisions on what is posted about you on the web?



    http://www.myspace.com/mshoover
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/celestadanger/
    http://www.celestadanger.com
     
  2. rob_just_rob

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  3. jeff black

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    I severly doubt that this was some sort of "Ban the Lesbian" plot.

    I really dont' understand why teachers can't have pictures of themselves nude. I mean, she is an ART teacher, and her choice of life is hers... Her students probably look at porn all the time anyways.
    The pics aren't that BAD... kids in Highschool have seen much worse at this point.

    IT WAS ART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.... People need to get a life.

    Personally, I am debating taking my pics down.. I dont' want to get fired just because my ass is on the net.. So fucking stupid.
     
  4. Heather LouAnna

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    Yeah..this is old news...hehe :T I live in Austin though.

    Texas laws are very strict on this sort of thing. As I've said in other threads, I can't work with children because of my DWI, which really..has little to do with my teaching abilities. I have a childcare administrative credential and a CDA, both of which I could use to open my own daycare, but I can't because of the DWI. I was teaching for a period and my background check finally came back (one of my coworkers leaked the information) that I have a DWI, and I haven't even been convicted yet. I was fired on the spot.

    Texas laws are very strict on this sort of thing.....
     
  5. mindstar

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  6. rawbone8

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    It's old news but never got posted on lpsg. So let's shake off the pond scum and look at it.

    Damn those co-workers. Tamara's dispute was originally a banal personal conflict about the use of the fucking ceramics facilities or something.
     
  7. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    I'm left resoundingly happy I don't live in Texas (sorry Heather). It's beyond absurd.
     
  8. rawbone8

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    It's not too surprising it could happen in Texas. But it's not isolated there either.

    Protecting kids is a universal concern.
    Worthy intentions, but circumstances ought to be taken into context by school authorities.
    They in turn might be worried about setting precedents for misbehaviour.

    Are there other professions it could homewreck?
     
  9. jeff black

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    Doctors or the Police. I can see it reeking havoc for both. How can you take a member of the police seriously, if you have seen them naked?
     
  10. AlteredEgo

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    Did anything happen to the other teacher for encouraging a student to visit an "inapropriate website" on a school computer, in view of other students, during class? If we're going to be insane, let's at least be fair.

    I don't know whether they're playing ban-the-lesbo or not, but I'm not playing it with them. Next month, one of my weekly tithes goes to Tamara to help her out.


    Nah. I'm mostly self-employed, and will always be. I don't care who finds out I hang around two penis sites. I like penises. The conservative fanatics can't get me for that, can they?
     
  11. Heather LouAnna

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    I feel bad for this woman because she can't do what she loves anymore, teaching, but she's become a celebrity overnight. I'm sure she's getting many offers to further herself in a career in other fields. She'll be alright...lol
     
  12. Matthew

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    Beyond fucked up, but sadly, this stuff doesn't surprise me a bit. And the agenda at work is the same fundamentalist, anti-sex, anti-queer disease that is defiling this country every day. But again, it's just more of the same.

    It must be fought; it won't ever be content to stop at a point short of total cultural control.
     
  13. pichulon

    pichulon New Member

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    It sounds rough, being fired.
    In retrospect, any person that works with kids in a school, or is a politician, or the director CEO of any big corporation, and / or any position of power or authority, has to exercise caution before posting stuff like that, nude pictures and anything that could be used, or missunderstood, or even which could show disrespect to others.
    Being this person a teacher in a HS, it was very dumb of her and her partner to do something like posting nude pictures.
    That was all the anti lesbian people, the puritans, and overly concerned parents as well as defensive school officials needed to act against her.
    Good judgement prevails, nobody told her to post anything. It is a pollitically bad situation, she has no arguments for a defense.
     
  14. rawbone8

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    Technically, she did not post anything. She knew and obviously consented to the works to be posted.

    She agreed to be the subject of a serious photographer's work.
    The photographer posted. The photos should by no stretch be considered obscene. They showed bare breasts. Are breasts always sexual or obscene? There was an image of her and her partner in a bathtub, in which there was no nudity visible at all, only implied, and no overt sexual touching, instead depicting a rather melancholy mood.

    The photographer's work is not to everyone's taste, but some pieces certainly are good enough to be presented in a serious gallery.

    Would it be different to anyone if the images were shown in a public art gallery? How about if the partner drew or painted depictions of her? Created a sculpture of her? Screened her acting as a character in a film? Depicted her in a cartoon or animation? What about someone who is the subject of a written description in a published magazine? Etc.

    I'd like to know more about where the lines are and who draws them.
     
  15. Wonderboy

    Wonderboy New Member

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    She shouldn't get fired. Art is art. Just because something shows titties does not mean it isn't art.

    I also think that the teacher who showed her class the pictures of Tamara knew what she was doing; getting her fired.

    It's that teacher who should be fired, not the quite attractive artsy one...

    NB: Enrique for President!
     
  16. Matthew

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    Maybe you meant this too, but it seems like the question beyond that is where should they be and who should draw them?
     
  17. rawbone8

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    Great point Matthew. And the reference I used is germaine as well. A lot of folks assume that common sense prevails &#8212; until they read the actual terms of employment.

    They aren't static lines, in any case. The political climate and movement of public opinion challenges and redraws the lines, judges throw out unconstitutional codes and practices when it reaches that level of examination (in Canada anyway). Legislators write new laws.

    Our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 1982, has been used by many to challenge abuses of rights, and fortify protections as well. It's the legacy of our late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and rightly or wrongly, has provided the means to challenge the status quo in Canada.
     
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