Russian teachers hold swimsuit flashmob for sacked colleague
MOSCOW, Russia – Thousands of Russian teachers have posted photos of themselves in bikinis or underwear on social media after Siberian authorities sacked a schoolteacher over snapshots she posted of herself in swimwear online.
By Monday, teachers had created more than 15,000 posts on Instagram with the Russian-language hashtag “Teachers are people too.”
The flashmob emerged after Tatiana Kuvshinnikova, a 38-year-old Russian literature teacher from the Siberian city of Barnaul, was forced to resign last week after she posted photos of herself in a swimming costume and a short dress and high heels.
She told a local news agency that the pictures were taken while she was taking part in her hobby of winter swimming.
But after a parent complained, the headmistress summoned Kuvshinnikova and accused her of dressing like a prostitute and encouraging pedophilia and pushed her to resign, local media reported.
Teachers posted photos of themselves along with supportive messages.
“Isn’t this an example to imitate? A woman in good physical shape at 38 is toughening herself up in the cold,” wrote music teacher Lyudmila Zhdanova from Saint Petersburg.
“How can it harm students?” she asked, adding “I support the teacher from Barnaul!” and posting a picture of herself on a sun lounger in a bikini.
The story had a happy ending for Kuvshinnikova after the regional education minister intervened in her case and offered her a choice of new positions.
On Tuesday she is set to start a new job at a teacher training college where she has been assigned to create a course on the “risks and positive sides of communicating on social media” for teachers, students and parents, regional authorities said Monday.
Last June a similar flashmob arose in support of a history teacher in Siberia who was sacked for taking part in a photoshoot as a model for plus size clothing. She eventually got her job back. /cbb
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