Teacher Allegedly Tries To Measure Student's 'Boobage,' Then Resigns

Girl SchoolA Florida middle school teacher claims that she did not approach one of her students with a ruler, in an attempt to measure her cleavage, calling it "boobage." But Joan Bannister nonetheless resigned, before her scheduled hearing Monday on the incident, reports the Orlando Sentinel. It sounds like another one of those bizarre scandals that seems to, more often than not, involve a teacher.

The 53-year-old math teacher at Eustis Middle School allegedly told one of her students that she wasn't complying with the dress code in front of the whole class, and she could prove it by measuring her exposed cleavage, according to the girl's complaint. Bannister supposedly came toward her with a ruler, and referred to her cleavage as "boobage."

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The teacher denies using the word "boobage."

She did say, however, that she discussed the girl's noncompliance with the dress code. She also admitted in a school district memo that she "could have handled the situation better."

Florida's educator code of ethics prohibits teachers from intentionally embarrassing or disparaging students.

After the girl filed her complaint Jan. 30, the district recommended a five-day suspension without pay. Before deciding to resign, Bannister had requested a hearing, and so the suspension was delayed.

Dress codes are often a point of discomfort between teachers and students. A school district in Missouri recently tightened its policies, precisely because it was awkward for male teachers to point out violations.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, high schools across the country are on a preemptive campaign to avoid tearful scenes on prom night, when provocatively-clad girls are turned away from from the party. One school in Oklahoma City is giving a slideshow of the "Do"s and "Don't"s, and another school in northwest Georgia is plastering its hallways with posters of "acceptable styles."

Rulers are still used at many schools to make sure the hems of students' skirts don't hover too far from the knee. But as this case shows, rulers probably shouldn't be whipped out when it's cleavage that's in question.



Michelle Rhee: Winning Students Over


Filed under: Firings, Education

Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at claire.gordon@teamaol.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

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spicall@hotmail.com

oh...great..

March 29 2012 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The watch woman on t

It is nice that young people are standing up against teachers that are out of line. Young people today are not being taught that because teachers are authority figures that they have to be respectful and obey them like many of us were being told during my school days. Thank goodness! It is nice to see young people stand up for themselves and expect that adults be responsible for their actions. I think attitude is everything and many of the young people today can tell if a teacher is out of line or that something is going on that needs to be investigated. Too many teachers think they are above the law and take advantage of young people. I went through school during the 60's and 70's when we were still in a huge transition about right and wrong social behavior and when young woman should stand their ground or be submissive, consequently I was yelled at, put down, had my papers read out loud to the class to shame me for miss use of punctuation, spelling etc., sexually hit on and in general humiliated from early on. I think if I had tried to even bring up what was happening to me at school, my parents would have blamed me, so why bother. I do not think my parents were much different from the norm of that time. I was not the only child that this was happening to so I did not feel alone but it still did not make it right. Thank goodness I was a strong person and was able to forgive these individuals. The icing on the cake was when I very humbly and timidly entered adult education in my 40's only to be trapped, manipulated and then sexually abused by the director of my program that had been abusing women in his program for close to 20 years along with others of his staff. This is when I put my foot down and turned him in. There was an investigation and he was removed from his position and forced to retire. But since that time I was further taken advantage of by a vigilante hate crime group brought on by the final school I went to, a University. So for the last twenty years of my, ebbing to an end, life I have been being tormented by education. I have not worked a long term job since 2002 and am not allowed to as a result of this vigilante group that gets me fired, they get information on me an use it against me daily. No attorney will take the case because it is so abstract. It has been a nightmare and not one that I wish on my worst enemy. Hopefully this young woman will not have a vigilante group be forced on her as a result of her stepping forward. I learned later that instructors and professors have unspoken rights to take advantage of students because in the early 20th century professors did not make much money and taking advantage of students sexually was part of the unspoken perks of the job. I learned this information from the ombudsman of the University I am currently being taken advantage of. Warn your youth, male or female, before they attend any higher education institution. Beware!

March 29 2012 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cloot123

Fred is right,
1st. graders should not call other kids (poopy heads), if the other kid is a(**** HEAD) ,they should be called (**** HEADS)

March 29 2012 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tws952

Well, she WAS a math teacher. Numbers are her life.

March 29 2012 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dude

What's wrong with boobage? It's better than fun bags.

March 29 2012 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Moyra

You don't resign if you are not guilty.

March 29 2012 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wobrien861

It used to be that the students were at the mercy of the teacher and principal; now it seems to be the other way around. I think that, in many schools, being a teacher must be a lot like being a corrections officer.

March 29 2012 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
unlimitedimages

I am so done with teaching for the same reason, Administrative BS and the games. I am so much happier now, and it's only getting better for me in a new career!

March 29 2012 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
coljr

"boobage"? REALLY? are we 11 years old???

March 29 2012 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to coljr's comment
J

It was a middle school. 12 or 13, maybe.

March 29 2012 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
thagreatestmanalive

Oh my, it must be something in the water in Florida, because every vile thing that happens in this country is out of Florida.

March 29 2012 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to thagreatestmanalive's comment
lcraigs

Your an idiot

March 29 2012 at 4:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lcraigs's comment
teechman531

He is right and you must have been educated in Florida with grammar like that

March 29 2012 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

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