A teacher in Oklahoma has been suspended and could potentially lose his job over a poster hanging in his classroom that paraphrases a letter written by Benjamin Franklin known as ‘Advice to a Young Man on Choosing a Mistress.’ According to KFOR, the letter is written to a young man with instructions for why he should “choose an older woman as his companion.”
Steve Alcorn, who has been teaching history for four decades, has reportedly had the poster on his wall for years. The poster includes a drawing of a grey cat alongside a quote from the letter saying: “In the dark, all cats are grey.”
Alcorn’s lawyer has responded to the suspension, saying that the poster was an innocent part of an effort to humanize historical figures in the classroom. “My client was teaching history accurately,” attorney Richard O’Carroll told the Duncan Banner. “Just as Ben Franklin was a great man in terms of science and a founder of our nation, he was still a man. People need to know these things, not just the myths and legends, but who they are.” O’Carroll says that if Alcorn is fired, they will “put up a big fight.”
“I hope that he gets to keep his job,” former student Amber Abrego said. “I hope that he gets more respect out of this because he deserves it. He's a good man. He’s a good teacher.”
Alcorn told the Duncan Banner that he’s ready to get back to teaching and hopes that he’ll return to work soon.