Former Manhattan Guidance Counselor Fired Over Decade-Old Lingerie Photos Sues for Wrongful TerminationS

The internet is a lot like a blob of Gak — it picks up every little piece of dirt, grime, and lint, and cannot, no matter how hard one tries, be cleaned up. A well-respected high school guidance counselor in Manhattan named Tiffany Webb found that out the soul-crushing, almost-at-tenure way last December when pictures from her youthful career as a scantily-clad model fell conveniently into the lap of the school's three-member chancellor's committee. The committee dismissed Webb, and she was forced to move on to, gulp, New Jersey, but nearly a year later, Webb is back with a Brooklyn Supreme Court lawsuit, accusing the Department of Education of wrongful termination, sex discrimination, and violation of First Amendment rights.

According to the Post, whose decision to play the story with very little innuendo should serve as proof that Webb seems to have gotten a raw deal, Webb had been a highly-regarded guidance counselor at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Education for 12 years before she was fired by the Department of Education because photos of her modeling lingerie and bikinis are still stuck in the internet's storm drains. Webb said that she posed for the photos (which, she explained, are heavy on the airbrushing) when she was 18-20, several years before she became a teacher in 1999. She also said that she told the Department of Education about the photos before she was first hired, and had to suffer under three separate DOE investigations.

Despite the fact that the photos seemed to be common knowledge among the DOE powers that be, former Murry Bergtram principal Andrea Lewis claimed that a student showed her photos of Webb (for whatever reason), prompting an investigation from the chancellor's committee, and the resulting 2-1 decision to dismiss Webb. (The dissenting committee member argued unsuccessfully, "[Webb's]professional work as a guidance counselor has been outstanding, and she should not be punished for something that happened years ago.")

The insidious/suspicious/unlucky (depending on your conspiracy sensibilities) part of Webb's dismissal is that it came just days before she was to receive tenure and an annual salary of $84,200. Adding insult to injustice, Webb had to change her name and move to the the purgatorial wasteland that is New Jersey. As part of her wrongful termination suit, she seeks reinstatement (because who wants to live in New Jersey?), back pay, and punitive damages.

Manhattan HS guidance counselor stripped of job over steamy-photo past [NY Post]