Tiffany Webb, a guidance counselor who was fired when photos of her wearing lingerie almost 20 years ago resurfaced on the web, is to sue the Department of Education (DoE).
Webb, who pursued a career as a model “several years” before she became a city teacher in 1999, said the photos were snapped when she was aged 18 to 20 and added that they were heavy on the Photoshopping. Webb is now 37 years old.
However, despite the pics being almost two decades old (and airbrushed), Webb was relieved of her counselor duties on December 23 last year, having spent 12 years with the Department of Education. The lingerie photos continued to appear on adult content sites such as “Showgirlz Exclusive” and “Mo Girls Entertainment,” despite Webb asking owners of the sites to remove the pics.
Webb has worked in elementary, middle, and high schools. She informed DoE officials about her former career when hired, though she was still investigated on three separate occasions by the Department. On every occasion, she was given the all-clear and returned to working with youngsters.
Yet her career at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers came to an abrupt halt late last year when a student showed former principal Andrea Lewis photos of Webb posing in underwear. Webb’s firing came just days before she was to achieve tenure as an $84,200-a-year guidance counselor. She was sacked for what one DoE employee described as “conduct unbecoming.”
A three-member chancellor’s committee examined the photos and ruled by 2-1 that Webb should be dismissed. A statement from one of the overruling members of the committee read:
“The inappropriate photos were accessible to impressionable adolescents. That behavior has a potentially adverse influence on her ability to counsel students and be regarded as a role model.”
Yet the committee’s dissenting member argued:
“Her professional work as a guidance counselor has been outstanding, and she should not be punished for something that happened years ago.”
The sacked counselor has since altered her name and is teaching in New Jersey. She is suing the DoE in Brooklyn Supreme Court and accuses the body of wrongful termination, sex discrimination, and violation of First Amendment rights. Webb — who seeks reinstatement, back pay and punitive damages — told The New York Post:
“I am a dedicated professional and enjoyed being a guidance counselor. I did my job well, and my students and parents thought very highly of me. I would love to return to the DOE and resume the career I have chosen to help and guide students.”
Do you think the treatment of Tiffany Webb over her lingerie photos is fair? Let us know in the comments!