Hot for Teacher: What you really need to know about #TeacherBae and Atlanta’s schools

Atlanta, Georgia (TFC) – Georgia’s schools are a disaster. 127 of them could be taken over by a new initiative from the governor’s office for “chronically failing.” In Atlanta, more than a quarter of their students didn’t graduate last year, and that’s the best graduation rate on record. In 2014, 4 out of 10 didn’t graduate. Instead of focusing on that, Atlanta Public Schools are concerned with an educator who is apparently too pretty to teach.

Patrice Brown was recently named “Educator of the Month”. She’s a graduate of Alabama State University. She teaches 4th graders in Atlanta. Now, she’s being reprimanded by the district after her fashion choices went viral under the hashtag #teacherbae. Some of the clothing she’s seen sporting at school is tight fitting, but she’s a curvy woman.

The message a 9-year-old female student can take away from this is that her job performance, education, intelligence, and any other attribute she possesses is irrelevant, if she grows up to be large breasted or a little hippy and random people on the internet choose to sexualize her. There is no other possible message to be taken away from this. One of the photos in question was captured the day she received her “Educator of the Month” award. Surely school administrators were present and saw her clothing. It wasn’t an issue. She’s a great teacher. It became an issue when self-righteous internet dwellers showed themselves to be more concerned with a possible bulge in a 9-year-old boy’s pants than they are about the quality of education their children receive. That’s why 3 out of 10 Atlanta kids will never see a diploma with their name on it.

If your first thought when you see a woman being recognized for excellence in teaching is that she’s too attractive and might distract boys, you’re the problem.

Some took issue with clothing she wore outside of school because the photos were publicly available on Instagram. Even the “scandalous” clothing worn off campus is fit for daytime TV. The account is now private. If you allow your 9-year-old unrestricted and unmonitored access to the internet and expect the rest of the world to conform to your standards because you’re too lazy to parent, you’re the problem.

Ms. Brown is a well put together, successful, educated, well-spoken, and intelligent woman. Yes, she’s also smoking hot. She’s a role model who chose a career in hopes of enriching the lives of children through art. Speaking of the incident she said

“I just wish they would respect me and focus on the positive and what truly matters—which is educating the children of the future generations and providing and caring for them,”

Mr. Brown

Ms. Brown with her Educator of the Month award.

Frankly, if you participated in this little internet witch hunt that successfully pinned a scarlet A on Ms. Brown, you owe her an apology.

As contrast, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen recently had to defend her decision to hire a consultant with taxpayer money to apparently buy access to the Governor’s office. The consultant is also a consultant to the Governor and has influence in the process of deciding whether or not the failing schools under her direction will be taken over by the state. She said

“At the end of the day, we will be crushed at the state level if we don’t have people who have relationships and quality information that can help Atlanta Public Schools.”

Those “relationships” cost the taxpayers at least $96,000.

Given those options, guess who I want my daughter looking up to as a role model. The people of Atlanta can continue to worry about whether or not Ms. Brown is too hot for a classroom if they so choose, but they should be more worried about the ethical standards of a district that would reprimand a teacher they’ve recognized for excellence instead of focusing on how to get more educators like her.