As social media continues to grow and become a part of our everyday lives, there are new rules of etiquette and opinions on what is deemed appropriate or inappropriate. Teenagers tend to post a lot online and overshare. They are often told to be careful about what appears on their Facebook or other social media accounts. Current or future employers have the ability to see these posts and will seek them out.
Most people are quite careful with what they post. Depending on their career, they may take extra precautions to ensure that their online appearance is just as professional as they are in person.
However, is there a line that needs to be drawn when it comes to what is acceptable and what is inappropriate?
Students in London have recently comes to the defense of Lydia Ferguson, a teacher who was reportedly suspended from her position for posting a provocative self. Her students and several people online agree that she has been treated unfairly.
Many people are blaming the suspension on the fact that the British school teacher Lydia Ferguson posted a selfie to Facebook that some viewed as too racy or inappropriate.
Several sources including The Toronto Sun and The Telegraph have reported that the photo of Lydia sitting at the edge of a bed wearing a white dress and holding a purse is the selfie responsible for her removal.
Students reportedly filmed as Lydia was criticized by senior teachers and staff before she was escorted off the premises.
The Ousedale secondary school students were upset that their beloved teacher had been suspended, and don’t agree that her selfie had anything wrong with it.
The photo in question is under fire for appearing to ‘sultry’ or ‘provocative’ but according to her students, and even Lydia herself, there is nothing sultry about the photo at all.
According to the UK Sun, Lydia commented: ‘I don’t think it’s seductive or inappropriate either!’ She explained that she had always followed the rule, ‘If my Granddad would look at my pictures in disgust then I would never post…’
When trying to remain modest with online content, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you would feel comfortable sharing the photo with a child, or in Lydia’s case, her Granddad.
However, regardless of many people seeing nothing wrong with the photo, it’s possible that the amount of skin showing (even if it’s her legs) and relaxed face may be getting taken the wrong way by a school board.
Lydia’s students reportedly started a petition titled ‘Get Miss Ferguson Back’ which gained over 250 signatures from students and some parents but it has since been taken down.
Students are coming to Lydia’s defence with comments such as ‘We think Miss looks Lovely,’ and another student saying ‘she does so much to help us and we’re so upset she’s been suspended.’
Others commented saying ‘All it was showing was a bit of leg,’ and agreed that there was nothing inappropriate about the photo at all.
The school is aware of the rumours going around about Miss Ferguson’s suspension and Headteacher Sue Calbert said ‘We are aware of rumours but conclusions are being drawn which have no factual base,’ according to The Telegraph.
No further comment has come from the school even when contacted by The Telegraph, so, for now, there’s now way to know for sure if this is the selfie that caused Lydia Ferguson’s suspension.
If that is the case, it would be a prime example of the hyper focus on the female body and can be seen as a form of gender inequality in the workplace.
Women and girls are constantly under scrutiny for what they wear, how much skin they show, and how they present themselves. Young girls have been sent home from their proms for showing a bit of back or side.
Patrice Brown, a teacher at an Atlanta Public School got into similar hot water simply for the shape of her body. If Lydia really was suspended for her selfie, it can be taken as another example of workplace sexism.