Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Friday, June 16, 2006

Art Teacher's (Not Lover's) Spat Started Controversy

The saga of Tamara Hoover began with a dispute between two teachers over a pottery kiln according to a story in today's Austin American Statesman, Art teachers' spat brought photos to light. Based on records obtained under the Texas Open Records Act, the AAS story says that fellow teacher Gayle Andrews was told by students that if she wanted to get Hoover in trouble she should look at a certain website. Although desisting for a few days, she later asked to be shown the sight and then reported it to school officials.

The issue has certainly generated a lot of attention. AAS columist John Kelso made one of the less serious points in today's paper arguing tongue in cheek in Hoover's defense:

And, perhaps most important of all, she has helped hone the computer skills of teenage boys all over town, who have been clicking furiously on their PCs ever since the story broke.
Alas for them, many of the "offending" pictures have now been removed. But there's no question that they have been trying. People have found their way to my initial post, What Happens When the Art Teacher Is the Model? by various ways, including the merely curious:

  • tamara hoover
  • ms. hoover austin high art teacher
  • austin art teacher fired

to those apparently more interested in the visual arts

  • tamara hoover photos web site
  • tamara hoover topless
  • topless art teacher
  • topless Austin teacher photos

For those not following the blogosphere forums on this issue, sentiment is heavily weighted in Ms. Hoover's favor; it will be interesting to see how important that viewpoint is to the political process as this plays out. One guess, I bet the AISD Board wishes it could make this go away by purchasing a second kiln.

Let's get the facts out: teacher's picture taken nude, other teacher asks student to take her to website later notifying administrators. My opinion nudity is not illegal. Speeding is illegal. Do we fire every teacher that has had a speeding ticket? Also did the teacher use a "school computer" to look at "objectional material"? Is it not improper to ask a student to show you that material? Fire that teacher!! She has two strikes against her using a school computer and having a student show her the website.
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