A West Michigan substitute teacher says she was dismissed for using the word "vagina" to describe artwork during class.
Allison Wint, from Battle Creek, was terminated from Harper Creek Middle School on April 22. The substitute teacher says she had no idea that saying an anatomical word would mean losing her job.
"Yes, I did say that word however I was saying it in the context of art history; I wasn't being vulgar," she says.
Wint says she mentioned the word during an eighth grade session when trying to describe past interpretations of Georgia O’Keefe paintings. But the school’s officials believed the teacher had acted inappropriately and breached school policy, reports WWMT.
O’Keefe is a well-known painter famous for painting flowers that resemble vaginas. Notwithstanding, school officials were not pleased and showed no leniency.
"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 says.
Harper Creek Community Schools issued a quote from the school’s handbook citing a rule in which instructors are obligated to get advanced consent before discussing any form of reproductive health.
In spite of the guidelines, Wint is still in shock that she was dismissed.
"I honestly had no words, because I've always been an advocate of not censoring art and music and writing," she said.
But it seems Wint has garnered support from outside the school system. Many showed their disdain for Wint’s termination on social media, according to EAG News.
“And another reason kids are so soft and feel entitled!” Kelli Fisk Quigley wrote on Facebook. “Omg, stop pussy footing around and give kids the facts!”
“Boy, what is this world coming to when an anatomically correct word offends someone. What do they call it in sex ed?” wrote Kaylene Hill.
Wint cleaned out her desk and packed all her artwork into her car, but she says losing her students is worse than losing her job. Though, she will not fight her termination.
"I harbor no ill will against them," the longtime substitute teacher says. Wint was placed at Harper Creek through a third party agency. She is currently looking for a new job.