Parents Are Freaking Out Because A Teacher Writes Erotica

If you thought that teachers being fired for online personals ads or school staff getting fired for being in porn wasn’t enough, now some parents in Middleburg, PA are worked up because Judy Buranich, one of the local high school English teachers, writes erotica. Here are some shots of her book covers, taken from her website:

I don’t know about you, but I don’t see what the problem is. For some reason, people who teach young people aren’t allowed to be sexual, at least according to this person:

 

Parent Deanna Stepp said the evidence is clear. “She is teaching children that are under the age of 18 and definitely the books that she is writing are adult books. I think she needs to make a decision as to what she wants to do. Either be a school teacher or author,” Stepp said.

Or this former student:

 

“I was sort of shocked.Sitting in her class I had no idea. She is a good teacher but I had no idea what was going on behind the scenes,” said former student Drew Hollenbach.

Do people really think that teachers have no sex lives? Or that they don’t deserve to have what happens in their private lives be used to judge their professional behavior? There isn’t anyone saying that Ms Buranich has done anything inappropriate on the job. And nobody is suggesting that she isn’t a good teacher. All she’s done is write some racy novels.

Now, I can understand students being shocked to discover that a teacher has a life outside of school. I remember when I was 12 and I ran into a teacher at the supermarket. It hadn’t occurred to me that it was possible, and I remember my mother saying, “Where did you think she got her groceries?” If you take that and add the oh-so-common “ewww” response young people often have with regard to adults expressing sexuality (like parents kissing), it’s pretty easy to see why some of them might react. And the adult thing for parents, other teachers, and administrators to do is to say something like, “Some grownups do things like that and one day, you might, too. Now go do your homework.”

Instead, some of the parents are making a big to-do about something that a lot of people enjoy, that isn’t causing anyone any harm, and that doesn’t affect her work as a teacher. That’s modeling the very sexual shame that keeps us trapped in the cycle of sex-negativity.

Some folks just have to get over themselves.

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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