16:18 GMT14 June 2021
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    A Michigan middle school teacher who was fired for using the word “vagina” in an art history lecture is speaking out.

    Allison Wint, a substitute art teacher at the Harper Creek Middle School in Battle Creek, Michigan, says that she was speaking on controversy in art, using Georgia O’Keefe as an example.

    “Imagine walking into a gallery when [O’Keefe] was first showing her pieces, and thinking, ‘Am I actually seeing vaginas here, am I a pervert? I’m either a pervert or this woman was a pervert,’” Wint recalled telling the class, to the Detroit Free Press.

    Her stated goal was to invoke a thoughtful dialog with the students, which she felt was successful. Wint explained that she used the word vagina around 10 times in the lecture, but never in a vulgar fashion.

    “I thought if I used a euphemism, that would make it into a joke,” Wint told the Free Press. “And I don’t think that’s a word you should be afraid of.”

    The day after the lecture, the school’s principal, Kim Thayer, found Wint before a class and explained that she had been fired for using the word vagina without previous approval, in violation of school policy. Wint was given one hour to collect her belongings and leave school property.

    “She said there are a thousand other ways to teach controversy, and that it was inappropriate,” Wint recalled.

    Wint is not only dismayed about losing her job, but also by the reason for it. She explained that “being afraid of the word … creates an aura of shame around the body part." 

    “I was really invested in those kids,” Wint says. “And I miss them a lot.”

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    Tags:
    Vagina, Harper Creek Middle School, Kim Thayer, Allison Wint, Michigan
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