A high school teacher who came under fire after a year-old video of her dancing at a burlesque festival surfaced online (and parents went nuts) has lost her job.
The teacher, who goes by the stage name of Lottie Ellington, wound up resigning from her job due to the outrage that’s bubbled up after video of her adult dance came to light. The video in question is a short, three-minute clip from the 2014 Michigan Burlesque Festival, and while the festival organizers themselves are who uploaded and distributed the video, Ellington is the one feeling the heat.
There is no word on how the performer’s identity was connected to the high school teacher’s “day job,” but parents were pretty irritated and said she has no business teaching children if this is the way she chooses to spend her free time.
While many feel that teachers (and others in jobs that deal with children) should always conduct themselves in a manner that befits their profession, others realize that teachers are in fact adults who have adult lives that take place far away from the classroom. This woman is not getting up on her desk and twerking in front of her students, and she is not giving lessons in gym class on how to be a burlesque dancer. If she was, then we’d definitely have a problem. But she’s not.
Ranting about your students on your Facebook page? Probably not the best idea. Making a racist joke on Twitter? Better not. But when a video starts to trend over a year after it was posted on YouTube by someone else, then you have to wonder if the dancer was really at fault here. Here’s a hint: She’s not.
This incident, however, is an excellent reminder that we need to teach our kids about social media, the internet in general and how permanent it really can be. Our kids aren’t just using Facebook and Twitter these days. They’re also using apps like Snapchat and Periscope — taking video of pretty much everything — and what kids may not be aware of is that no matter how excellent their privacy settings are or how locked-down they think their profiles are, they really, really aren’t.
We see evidence of this from celebrities who stupidly write an idiotic tweet which they later delete — except, oops, someone already grabbed a screencap, and now everyone can see it. And even when an item is deleted, it still exists somewhere, and someday someone might dig it up.
Your life is yours, but what you post on social media enters the public consciousness. Unfortunately, even in this case of the burlesque-dancing teacher who didn’t post anything herself, it can have severe repercussions.