Patrice Brown, a teacher, got a “pink slip” from her employer at the beginning of the summer, asking her to resign so she wouldn’t have to work the school year of 2022.
The educator who has a curvy figure claims that the reason she was fired from her job is that the principal of the school objected to her habit of wearing hip-hugging leggings and skintight dresses.
For years, Brown, who instructs first- and second-graders, has been garnering attention for the workwear she wears on the job.
In 2016, images of her wearing extremely tight jeans went viral on Facebook, and she was given the moniker #TeacherBae as a result.
In the years that have passed, she has not allowed the attention to deter her from doing — and wearing — the things that she enjoys the most.
“I’d always go to work and take pictures of myself in the classroom setting, showing off how much I love my profession and looking beautiful while teaching kids,” Brown, 33, from Atlanta, told The Post, noting that her clothing is well within the “vague” guidelines for Atlanta Public School teachers.
It’s not just the students who are getting in trouble with the dress code. Teachers are also getting in trouble for what some students perceive to be their inappropriately sexualized appearances in the classroom.
This week, New Jersey art teacher Roxsana Diaz came under fire online for wearing figure-hugging clothing, and some of her student’s parents demanded that she be fired as a result of the controversy. She is not exactly on her own.
“Teachers are often bullied [for their looks] by the administration, parents, other teachers, and in higher grades, the students,” said Brown, who has found a new job at a different school teaching first-graders. “What teachers are wearing should not be the focus. The focus should be on the kids.”
Diaz, who is from Pennsauken, New Jersey, echoed those sentiments in the midst of her own controversy regarding classroom attire via Instagram on Monday.
“[Parents should] want someone teaching your children that will love and protect your children as if they were their own,” said the well-endowed art instructor in the caption of a video post to her over 987,000 followers. “I am an artist & an influencer as well as a teacher.”
When it comes to the apparel worn by teachers at Pennsauken Public School, the employee operations manual for 2018-2019, which is the most recent publication to be made available online, states as follows: “Form-fitting pants such as leggings and tights must be covered with a top reaching no higher than 4-inches above the knee.” The policy also states, “Sneakers … dungarees or jeans … excessively tight fitting clothing is not permitted.”
Inappropriate photographs of Diaz posing in shape-accentuating clothing while supervising a group of children have sparked outrage on the internet.
“You’re in a classroom taking Instagram pictures with your a – s out,” said one cyber critic under an Instagram shot of her wearing fitted jeans and sneakers with her rear to a student. “Showing pictures in the class with your butt in the air is very inappropriate!,” penned another outraged commentator.
“You shouldn’t be a teacher,” another argued.
In the meantime, second-grade teacher Madi Dew, who is 23 years old, agreed that she and her fellow educators should be able to wear whatever makes them feel “cute and confident.” However, she has become an internet sensation for transforming her racy threads into more professional looks.
“I layer,” said Dew, who lives in central Florida, and asked not to reveal her full name for privacy. “At my school, we can’t wear spaghetti straps or show our shoulders, so I put T-shirts under dresses that might be a little lower cut and I wear a lot of undershirts.”
In addition to this, she adjusts the straps of her dresses so that they are longer and she covers any skin that may be exposed by donning a cute cardigan over her dresses.
Over 1.8 million people have watched the “how-to” video that Dew uploaded to TikTok about how she transforms her flirty finery into fits that frequently get the thumbs-up from her school’s principal. Dew is getting ready to move to South Korea next month to begin teaching there.
She demonstrates to her over 71,000 followers in the clip how she frequently wears a thin turtleneck underneath a summer slip or tosses a graphic tee over a hot little number that she would otherwise wear to brunch with friends.
Dew is of the opinion that a teacher’s enthusiasm for the students she teaches should take precedence over the clothes she chooses to wear.
“I don’t think our clothes need to be nitpicked so much, especially when there’s a teacher shortage,“ she said.
“The focus should be on making sure schools are properly funded, that the children are getting the resources that they need and that teachers are being supported.”