Bellport, NY is a small town of 2,000 that’s made international headlines because of a picture of breasts. Lauren Miranda, a former math teacher at Bellport Middle School, was fired after a topless selfie sent to her boyfriend in 2016 — got into the hands of students. It’s a private matter that has thrust her onto a public platform where she refuses to be shamed.
Lauren’s situation isn’t unique. According to a 2016 study, roughly 10.4 million Americans have had their nude photos posted without their permission. Now, she’s speaking out about the double standard of sexualizing the female body.
“How do girls feel when this happens to them?,” Miranda told VICE News. “Their photo gets shared without their permission or consent. And what do we say to them: Crawl in a hole”
She’s suing the school district for her job back or 3 million dollars. She is basing her case on gender discrimination. “I’m saying that because you’re a man that you and I are 100 percent equal,” Miranda said. “Whatever you do to one side you have to do to the other.”
The community has been divided on whether Miranda’s firing has been the right call. Monique Armann, a parent of a student who attended the middle school just a year ago, now runs a forum on Facebook for residents, including parents of kids at the school, where they can debate Lauren’s firing — privately.
VICE News reached out to several South Country Central District school officials for comment–they said they don’t comment on active litigation. Lawyers for the school district are expected to depose Miranda on May 2nd.
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