Teacher Fired for Saying the Word ‘Vagina’ Because It’s ‘Inappropriate’
A teacher getting fired for using “inappropriate” language doesn’t sound so far-fetched or unreasonable, but when that “inappropriate” language is an anatomical term, then it gets a little harder to understand. So you can imagine how one substitute middle school teacher who was recently fired for saying the word “vagina” in an art history lecture about Georgia O’Keeffe is feeling right now. (No, seriously, this really happened.)
Allison Wint lost her job at Harper Creek Middle School after using the appropriate biological term for a crucial part of the female anatomy while addressing an eighth grade class. She was fired on the basis that she didn’t obtain “advanced approval” before “discussing reproductive health.”
Wint, for her part, says she didn’t know about the “advanced approval” clause — but then, since she wasn’t actually discussing “reproductive health,” why should it matter? Mentioning that Georgia O’Keeffe was visually inspired by vaginas (something that anyone who’s ever looked at one of her paintings knows) in the context of an art history class is hardly the same thing as talking about birth control or safe sex. Indeed, you can hardly talk about Georgia O’Keeffe without mentioning that aspect of her work — so what was Wint’s alternative?