Russian teachers strip in protest after colleague was fired for 'dressing like a prostitute' and causing students to 'lust after her'
A photo of bikini-clad Tatiana Kuvshinnikova posing in a winter landscape left parents and the school's director outraged, sparking major backlash from fellow teachers
A teacher who was fired from her job for wearing a short dress and swimsuits in Russia has sparked a major backlash from other teachers who stripped off to protest the move.
The 38-year-old, Tatiana Kuvshinnikova, was accused of provoking male pupils to lust after her by dressing "like a prostitute", according to a Daily Mail report.
However, the embattled teacher won nationwide support from hundreds of female colleagues who proudly posted revealing pictures of themselves under the hashtag #учителятожелюди - meaning "teachers are humans too."
In a protest video, teachers walked into the sea with their classroom clothes on to mock critics who said school staff couldn't be seen revealing any skin.
Ivanovo teacher Anastasia backed Kushinnikova saying she is an ice swimmer and that the pictures for which she was ridiculed by her school director and some parents were linked to her sport. In protest, Anastasia posted her own beach pictures in a bid to taunt her own employers to fire her if they don't like it.
"How do you think a modern teacher must meet the requirements of parents and their superiors…? Family status? Breast size? The length of her skirt? Waist? Hobbies? Being a great lover of experiments, I will post these photos. Let's see how soon I get fired …" she wrote alongside the photos.
"Why does it cause such a reaction?" asked Liudmila Alexandrovna, posting her own picture in a bikini. "Why do people see evil in that? Isn't it an example to follow? A woman in good physical shape aged 38 taking care of her health. What is sexual here? What damage can it cause to pupils? There is more explicit stuff on TV. Why aren't parents complaining about it? Teachers are humans too, I am supporting the teacher from Barnaul."
Viktoria Sheik, an English language teacher from Saratov, asked: "Why is it possible for everyone to climb into a teacher's private life…? Yet teachers cannot condemn drunken parents or those who beat their children and give an iPhone instead of love."
She continued: "For the younger generation to grow up normal, everyone should set an example for them, and not just teachers. Parents first. Worried that the child will see the photo of the teacher from the beach, well, then do not take the child to the beach. Are you are afraid to see your class teacher in a shop with wine? Well then start with yourself so that your children will not see you drunk at home."
Yana Abdullina posted: "I want to remind everyone that we are humans too. What is happening now is bullying. Teachers have the right to a private life including swimsuits, piercing and tattoos, hobbies and interests and, God forgive, sex. Remember, we can play different social roles. We are not dragging our private lives to school. So don't dig into it, moralists."
An enraged Olga Goncharenko wrote: "This is a vent-off post. I have just watched the news about Barnaul about a cautious mummy who, Oh God, saw a teacher in a swimsuit in social media, and, most likely saved children from suspicious elements in the educational system. But teachers are humans too. They know how to relax… Crazily cautious parents should stop poking their nose in places where they have no right. Watch yourselves."
Meanwhile, Kuvshinnikova has posted pictures of herself online ice swimming, wearing short glittering dress and heels, and dancing in the snow with schoolgirls wearing just a bikini.
Olga Gain, the school director who tried to fire her in February before she gained the support of many parents, told local media: "This is how only prostitutes dress — high heels, dress above the knees, and everything on show. Who are you trying to lure? You do not have the right to use the title 'teacher'. You are a stain on the reputation of the school. It is not surprising that boy pupils are in love with you — and there is only one step left to pedophilia."
While the protest had saved Kushinnikova's job, she quit this month herself, saying she was being harassed at school.
In response, regional education minister Maxim Kostenko branded the reaction of the school director as outdated and helped the teacher find another job. "Modern school needs educators who promote a healthy lifestyle, sports," he said. He went on to blame "contradictions between the generations" for the unwarranted backlash and advised teachers to be "more tolerant with each other and to maintain patience."
"Personally, I do not see anything reprehensible in the photographs that this teacher-athlete posted," he said in conclusion.