Sanctimommies Pull Kids From School Over Principal’s Private Simulated Fellatio Photo
Pearl clutchers, get ready to do your thang. Certain parents at a K-9 school in Central-Alberta, Canada are up in arms over some alleged naughtiness on the part of the school’s principal, Penny Mueller. What kind of naughtiness, you may ask? Sex scandal? Drug dealing? Sexy drug dealing? Nope. All it took to piss these parents off were some raunchy jokes on Pinterest and a somewhat questionable, but private, photo.
According to The National Post, several parents have pulled their children out of Crestomere School because they feel that the school has not “adequately addressed” their ridiculous, pearl clutchy complaints about Mueller’s conduct.
Mueller’s issues started all the way back in 2009 when she posed for a (hilarious) photo where she “simulated fellatio” on the Washington Monument, which you can see above. Was the photo ill-advised? Yes. Especially since she was on a Canadian tax-payer funded conference trip. But it was another teacher, NOT Mueller, who posted the photo to Facebook, and it was this teacher who was reprimanded and fined $500.
The Alberta Teacher’s Association, or ATA, did investigate Mueller, as well, and found that there was “insufficient evidence to warrant a disciplinary hearing.” According to ATA Executive Secretary Gordon Thomas:
“It was a private photo. The principal didn’t post it.”
Of course, the story doesn’t end here. In the fall of 2009, parent Lori Turner withdrew her children after filing a complaint against Mueller with the profession’s regulator because Mueller allegedly criticized her in a private school division meeting which was held about the photo. What did Mueller say that was so very, very terrible?
“I think she was upset because she got her wrists slapped by administration,” Turner said. She asked me if I had never been young and stupid once, and I said ‘sure,’ but never when my career was guiding and mentoring children.”
Oh heavens no! Let me go get my fainting couch and smelling salts! Oh wait, this doesn’t sound like criticism at all. Rather, it sounds like Mueller was rightfully defending herself. I’m sorry, but I believe you can have a career “guiding and mentoring children” and also be a human being who makes mistakes (and even ribald jokes!).
But wait! There’s more!
Another parent, Barb Neilson, pulled her kids out of the school just this past school year because she was unhappy with how the school board and ATA handled her ridiculous complaints. What terrible, awful, no-good, very bad thing did Mueller do this time? Re-post some lame memes on her Pinterest account. Seriously. First there was this meme, which is kinda, sorta inappropriate? I suppose?
I guess I can understand parents being uncomfortable with this one. It’s sort of slut-shamey, and definitely not something I would want my younger kids to see. Though I suspect Neilson was more upset over the word “vagina” than anything else. Like the Washington Monument photo, this was ill-advised. But deserving of disciplinary action? I think not.
Neilson also took offense to this well-known meme:
Aww, come on! This is genuinely funny and not even close to inappropriate. Does this mom not get the joke? Is she really that squicked out by menstruation? Can she not even see a photo of a Maxi pad without getting the vapors? According to The National Post:
“(Mueller is) supposed to be a strong female role model and she was posting humor that was not cool at all. “(The officer) said it was not ideal she was posting those sort of things, but it was nothing warranting an investigation,” Neilson said.”
I don’t think posting a couple of mildly indelicate memes to Pinterest makes Mueller less of a “strong female role model”. And obviously neither does the ATA or the school board. According to Gordon Thomas, Neilson’s complaint was eventually withdrawn, but he said, late this week, that the association would reopen the file and complete the investigation if Neilson submitted her complaints again:
“If the complainant wants to reactivate, they should send it in,” he said. I can’t just swoop in there.”
The National Post spoke to Mueller on Thursday:
“Reached by phone on Thursday, Mueller said she had never behaved in a way that undermined the honor and dignity of the teaching profession.
“I have not done anything unprofessional,” she said.
“I think the media, including yourself, need to be aware about how the general public or parents go out of their way to destroy or cause grief in educators’ lives.”
I think Mueller hits the nail right on the head here. I get that teaching professionals need to be careful what they post on social media, but I don’t think parents should be able to police everything a teacher does in their off time, either. Mueller didn’t post hardcore porn, or racist jokes, or even anything all that raunchy. Hell, the first “infraction” wasn’t even posted by Mueller.
Parents, just because you find something mildly offensive, doesn’t mean you get to make some poor teacher or principal’s life a living hell. I would wager that these are the same type of folks who try to ban books and get all up tight the moment anyone fails to follow their strict code of morality.
Thankfully it sounds as if the parents who are upset are in the minority, and Mueller won’t be punished too harshly, but I still think it’s ridiculous that this principal’s good name is being disparaged. From what I can see, she’s already removed her social media account, which doesn’t seem fair to me at all. Teachers and principals are people too, despite what some parents might want to believe.