PoliticsRaceSex & Gender

respectability politics: teacher suspended because she’s also a pole dance instructor

August 22, 2018
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Kandice Mason, a North Carolina teacher was recently suspended when her after school activities were discovered by the school district. Was Manson a secret Walter White-type of drug dealer? Was she robbing local shops? Nah, Manson is an athletic, part-time pole dance instructor. But when she posted a private video of her instruction on her personal Facebook page the school district suspended her. The single mother of two holds a masters degree in psychology, a bachelors in English, and a certificate in phlebotomy. She is also a self-taught pole dancer who was very much looking forward to applying her academics in the classroom setting. “I was really excited. I had already been given my classroom,” said Mason.

Hoke County Schools wouldn’t specify why Mason was being suspended but cited a district-wide policy that teachers should be role models, even when they’re not at work. But what about creative exercising isn’t a role model worthy? Do people really still believe pole dancing is explicitly and irreversibly tied to sex work? Really?

“I’ve worked so hard to try and make sure I can provide for my daughters and our livelihood, to have it jeopardized just for doing something that I’m passionate about,” Mason said. She has been suspended with pay pending an investigation. “I’ve never felt ashamed of pole dancing. It’s just an art for me. I just don’t see it as negative,” Mason said. Here, here.

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