You Won’t Believe What This Michigan Teacher Said That Got Her Fired

A Battle Creek, Michigan substitute teacher has been fired because she had the audacity to say “vagina.”

Allison Wint said that she has been teaching at Harper Creek Middle School since January, but was recently let go after she used the word during a discussion about art history with a class she was teaching. She said that she just wanted to have an open discussion with the eighth graders about art and the controversies surrounding some artists’ work. During the lecture she held up a reproduction of some of Georgia O’Keefe’s work and said:

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“Imagine walking into a gallery when [O’Keefe] was first showing her pieces, and thinking, ‘Am I actually seeing vaginas here, am I a pervert? I’m either a pervert or this woman was a pervert.’”

The teacher said she used the word vagina ““maybe 10 times. But it was never in a vulgar capacity.” She went on to say:

“I thought if I used a euphemism, that would make it into a joke,” she said. “And I don’t think that’s a word you should be afraid of.”

Unfortunately, school officials did not agree and fired her. The day after her lesson, the school’s principal, Kim Thayer, fired her for using the word “vagina … without previous approval.” Who knew that using the proper medical terminology for a part of a female’s anatomy was no longer allowed in schools? Maybe the principal would have preferred she say “whoo-ha” or some nonsense like that?

Let’s be real, it is a sad day in the American educational system when proper terms for body parts are off limits because they offend an adult’s delicate sensibilities. How the hell are our children supposed to learn if they aren’t even taught basic things like “vagina” is not a bad word?

“Being afraid of the word … creates an aura of shame around the body part,” Wint said.

Indeed.

Not only is it important for students to know that it is not a dirty word, knowing the proper names for anatomically correct terms helps to combat sexual abuse. According to Think Progress:

Perhaps most importantly, teaching kids to use the accurate words for their body parts teaches them that they have ownership over their body, provides a positive boost to their self-image, and increases their confidence. That could have radical implications for our current society’s pervasive rape culture, which advances the false perception that sexual assault is merely a consequence of promiscuity rather than a serious crime. If youth grow up with a deeper understanding of bodily autonomy and consent, they will be more likely to speak up when they feel that consent has been violated — and perhaps less likely to violate someone else’s consent.

There is absolutely no reason at all that this teacher should have been fired for using a word that these kids should have ALREADY been comfortable hearing. The fact that it was considered “inappropriate” demonstrates how much Battle Creek has already failed their kids.

Wint said that the only other time she has had a problem with the principal was when she hung a sign that the students made her behind her desk. The sign read “Marriage is about love, not gender.” Thayer told her to remove it.

It sounds like Thayer is one of those right-wing, religious nuts who have no business overseeing a school. If she can’t shelve her personal feelings about things before she goes into work, then she really has no business holding the position she does.


Featured image via Detroit Free Press