Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Isn't This Behavior "Diverse" Enough For Them?

A few days ago I wrote about the teacher who voluntarily quit (probably as a prelude to getting fired) because a student discovered her porn past. I was, and remain, unsure of what's "right" in that circumstance.

Then along comes this story:
A former assistant professor of psychology at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, Calif., has sued the institution for sex discrimination, alleging that she was fired for performing in an off-campus burlesque act...

Addison was hired in Sept. 2007 to teach graduate students under a one-year contract as an assistant professor of psychology. The following July she was awarded a two-year contract which stated that she could be fired only for just cause, according to the complaint. The contract also held that she would be deemed to have her contract extended unless it was formally canceled. It was not canceled as she never received negative performance evaluations, the complaint says.

At about the same time that she started working at JFK, she started performing under a pseudonym, Professor Shimmy, at the Hubba Hubba Revue, a burlesque show in San Francisco. Addison performed intermittently with the revue, which typically plays to about 400 to 600 people every month, said producer and co-founder Jim Sweeney. Hubba Hubba, like traditional burlesque, intertwines partial striptease (down to pasties and g-strings), dance and comedy with parody and references to popular culture...

But officials at JFK deemed her participation in the burlesque act to be inappropriate, the complaint says, though she never publicized it on campus, discussed it with students or identified her affiliation with JFK when she performed. A letter, dated June 21, informed her that she was fired, effective nine days later.

Her participation in the burlesque performances was the only reason cited in her termination letter, the complaint says. Steven Stargardter, president of the university, explained in the letter to her that her actions brought “public disrespect, contempt and ridicule to the university,” the complaint says. Her contract as a Core Faculty Member specified that she could not participate in any activity that “may be adverse to the interests of the university.”

It's not illegal, and her students--if they find out about her side job--are adults. What's the problem?

2 comments:

Bartender Cabbie said...

If she did this while a high school, junior high, etc. teacher I could see the problem. She is a college prof though and that is totally different. Hell we have college profs who are "ex" terrorists. A titty dancer seems a bit tame in comparison.

s said...

just me, or is a burlesque performer the perfect person for jfk university...........