Michigan teacher: I was fired for saying ‘vagina’ during middle school art lesson

Georgia O’Keefe paintings that appear to resemble vaginas.
Georgia O’Keefe paintings that appear to resemble vaginas.

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

A substitute teacher at a Battle Creek middle school said she was fired for saying “vagina” several times during an art history lesson without getting “previous approval.”

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Allison Wint said she was discussing paintings last week by Georgia O’Keefe, whose famous artwork includes flowers that resemble the female genitalia. The idea was to create a dialogue about controversy in art.

But the school’s principal, Kim Thayer, was not impressed and told Wint last week she was no longer wanted at the school. The district said she violated the school’s policy guidebook, which forbids teachers from discussing reproductive health without getting “previous approval.”

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The district back-tracked Wednesday, saying Wint wasn’t fired for saying “vagina,” but because she was straying from the art curriculum.

Wint is looking for another job.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.