Skip to comments.Teacher loses his job for going 'Full Monty'
Posted on 03/13/2007 8:34:41 AM PDT by summer
A Lemon Bay High School music teacher would rather give up his day job than stop stripping at night in the musical "The Full Monty" at the Venice Little Theatre.
Jason Brenner, who is in his third year as a part-time music teacher at the Englewood high school, said Lemon Bay administrators gave him a letter Thursday that offered him three options: "stop doing the show; continue the show but take yourself out of the last scene so that you're not naked on stage, or continue doing the show at full capacity but hand in a letter of resignation."
Brenner went on with the show Thursday night and plans to continue with the amateur theater production through its closing performance on March 18. He doesn't get paid for the show, which has been running for more than two weeks.
"We kind of hold our teachers to a higher moral standard than, say, someone who works for Comcast may or even the newspaper, because we're dealing with our children every day," said Mike Riley, public information officer for the Charlotte County School District.
Riley said the decision was made because of "information we received that he is nude in this play. In public schools, public nudity does not fit in, where they're coming around children."
Riley said he was not aware if any school officials saw the show before making the decision. "When he reveals that he's nude in public to his supervisor, that's the word we're going on."
In the musical, based on the British film hit, Brenner plays Dave Bukatinsky, one of several out-of-work steel workers in Buffalo, N.Y., who strip for a night to raise money to help support their families...
(Excerpt) Read more at heraldtribune.com ...
FYI. Interesting article...
My high school history teacher worked in a men's topless bar - the waiters were all men and topless wearing only a collar and cuffs - popular in the 1970's.
Yeah - I'm thinking of that FL married, blonde reading teacher (female) who repeatedly had sex with a student -- and then got off scott free because of whatever. Someone like her should be of more concern to school officials than this guy.
I probably could have phrased that better (above), but - you know what I mean!
Hey, hold on now. An attractive female blonde teacher is a whole 'nother story completely, with a different set of rules.
Ok, so this is an unpaid two week show, right?
And this guy gives up a full time job for it?
He must really want to wave the flag.
He's on his own time. The show is not an illegal activity. The school and the show have no legal relationship with each other. How can the school claim the right to control this legal activity of his?
If he was a smoker, and he posed for prominent local billboard ads for a cigarette company, could the school fire him for the "bad image" his students could readily see him in?
Are they actually afraid some student, having seen him in the play will be sitting in class undressing him in her daydreams?
If they have the right to fire this teacher, do they have a comparable right to suspend a student who goes to see the play?
How is the private (not on school time) rights and freedoms of either students or the teacher brought under the control of the school in this way?
Morals dont stop at the school house door. Teachers should be role models, like others in authority positions. We certainly dont always live up to that, but at least we should try. Excusing this type of behavior because it really doesnt mean anything just lowers the bar once again.
"Excusing this type of behavior because it really doesn't mean anything just lowers the bar once again."
The question is not your or my "moral" view of his role in the play. The question is legal and his legal rights.
Right now we have a school in Lexington Massachusetts that believes it has a legal obligation to teach 3rd graders the moral view that it is O.K. to be gay (using a book in which a young prince has a boyfriend not a princess). They use the same language you do, about their right to teach a "moral" view and, more than you, they reinforce that language with the fact that the actions of the young prince have been declared legal in Massachusetts, so in addition to teaching their own civic moral view they are defending what the law allows.
I think both you and they are wrong.
I think the school, as an academic institution and not a religious institution must be, most of the time, agnostic on civic moral issues. I oppose their view on the same basis I oppose yours.
While the activity is "legal", the fact that it is legal, that it is allowed, is only a statement that one has the legal right to that activity. The fact that it is permitted is not a statement that others cannot have the opinion that it is morally wrong. Smoking is legal, but most people oppose it morally. Adultery is rarely prosecuted as a crime in itself, but most people agree it is immoral. We have many things that our legal freedoms permit us to do, but we have separate, and diverse moral views about many of them.
When legal rights and standards include rights and freedoms for which the whole of society has strong differences of the moral view of those freedoms, the school must be agnostic on a moral view of them. If it is not then it must chose (and it will, just as the school in Lexington Mass did) whatever standard of "moral" that it wants, and it will thank you for granting it the right to do so.
I do not accept the statist idea that our public schools should be granted the role of the center of our child's moral and social universe. To do so replaces "the state" for what the founders saw as "the society", which included Church and family and other free associations beyond academia, and which respected the moral role of those institutions, outside of academia.
No, the school must be agnostic most of the time, if it is not a private or religious school. It is dangerous for all of our religions otherwise, because otherwise it will chose one or it will condemn them all for its own secular humanist view.
Allowing a teacher to moonlight showing his butt and more and then teach class during the day lowers the bar.
I'm sympathetic to you dawgfan, but I'm in Wuli's camp. If this were about a porn flick or working in a strip club, it would be a different story. Just my opinion, but the bureaucrats went too far on this one.
You and I may agree on the moral side of that. And I would have no problem with a religious or private school setting such a religious or private standard.
On the legal side, as a "government" employee in a "public" school, if his acts are not illegal I don't want to give the school the right to think they are our children's moral police on matters that (1)are not illegal and (2)of which there is a diversity of moral views.
Because, at the same moment I give them the right to oust this teacher, the logic of the legal argument to do so gives the "right" the Lexington Mass grade school to teach 3rd graders that its "O.K." to be gay, on the same argument as yours that they are simply teaching a "public moral" point of view and they ground that position in the fact that Massachusetts law says its O.K.
My legal view is that the government school, the "public" school must be agnostic (not preaching for or against) on MOST "moral" matters, outside of behavioral matters in the school, or "illegal" behavioral matters in or out of the school, by students or teachers.
I understand your "lowers the bar" position on his very legal actions. My concern is that your solution "lowers the bar", in the law, in granting government schools, public schools the right to place their moral view ahead of the parents, in matters in which there are diverse moral views.
I am sympathetic to bulldawg as well.
I understand and appreciate his moral point of view.
But, I see how the legal concept of granting schools the right that bulldawg seeks, because it can produce the result he seeks, validates the law for schools to, by the same rationale, produce results which neither bulldawg, you or I want to support.
People should really read public writings and recorded statements of SCOTUS Justice Scalia. He writes and speaks so clearly about the law, about protecting the law and its constitutional foundations instead of subverting it, only because, by twisting it to our purpose we like the result we can obtain by doing so.
He constantly demonstrates how that activism becomes precedents that turn around to bite us in the end.
He constantly demonstrates how the activist seeking of results as a higher calling than maintaining the constitutional foundation and structure we have been given , almost always winds up diminishing our rights in the long run; no matter what benevolent purpose for which we let or constitutional standard slip, at first.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.