To explain historical interpretations of Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings

A Michigan news outlet reports that a substitute teacher was fired a few days ago for uttering the word “vagina” in an art history class while talking about interpretations of Georgia O’Keefe paintings. (The vagina interpretation is pretty hard to miss.)

If you ask Allison Wint why she was fired from Harper Creek Middle School, she will tell you it’s because she uttered the word ‘vagina.’

“Yes, I did say that word however I was saying it in the context of art history; I wasn’t being vulgar,” she said.

Well you know when it’s a matter of being vulgar, “vagina” isn’t the word of choice. You’ve got cunt, twat, pussy, snatch, gash, minge, to name a few – vagina just isn’t the best one for purposes of vulgarity.

The substitute art teacher claims she said it to a room full of 8th graders trying to explain historical interpretations of Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings. But to school officials, Wint crossed the line–and violated school policy.

“I did not know about this policy, they were entirely within their right to remove me, however I was not aware of this policy beforehand; if I had known about this policy, I would have never done it without approval,” Wint said.

Are they? Are they within their rights? Can they fire her for saying elbow, tibia, eyebrow, incisor, spine, collar bone? Can they fire her for saying breast? Can they fire her for saying penis, testicles, ovaries, uterus?

No, sorry, I’m not convinced they are within their rights, assuming it’s a public school. If she had called a kid a big stupid vagina, that’s one thing, but if she pointed out the resemblance between many of O’Keefe’s flower paintings and vaginas, it’s another.

After clearing out her classroom and packing all her artwork into her car, Wint says losing her students hurts more than losing her job and she will not fight her termination.

“I harbor no ill will against them,” she said.

Wint was a longtime substitute, placed at Harper Creek through an outside agency.

She says she now plans to look for work somewhere else.

I hope she gets a good job, and I hope the Michigan ACLU files suit against the school.

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