Campaigners and activists have reacted angrily after a 24-year-old teacher from Southend was SACKED for having an ‘attractive’ picture on her Facebook wall. According to recent PGCE graduate Jessica Alluri, the headteacher at Valkyrie Road Primary School in Southend summoned her into a meeting yesterday before being told that the image was ‘unsuitable’ for someone in her respected position. Ms Alluri is just one of a number of teachers who have been suspended or sacked recently over their use of images on social media.
The devastated teacher spoke to our Chief Reporter today about her ordeal. She said: ‘I have always been very careful with my Facebook account, I don’t use my real name on there and I never post anything indecent or inappropriate. I went to my sister’s wedding last week and posted a photo of just my face and shoulders as my boyfriend said that I looked beautiful, and this was an amazing feeling. I could say that I got carried away in the moment, but according to the headteacher the photo created an ‘unwanted and unprofessional’ distraction for the parents – this was used as an official reason when the head wrote to tell me that I had been removed with immediate effect.’
Valkyrie Road Primary School headteacher Dr Michael Perusa issued a statement to our Newsdesk. It said: ‘It is with regret that we have been forced to relieve Ms Alluri of her teaching duties with immediate effect. An image was posted on her Facebook account that was seen by two of our parents, and it shows full details of both her face and bare shoulders. A mutual friend of the school remarked to me that she looked ‘nice’ in the photo, and this is not the professional image that we are trying to communicate as an educational insititution. If the photo would have spread further across social media, there is a high chance that some of our other fathers and male guardians could have used it as a distraction from their own busy lives, and this point was also raised by female members of our PTA.’
Dr Perusa added: ‘Ms Alluri offered to take the image down, but myself and the other governers decided that the damage had already been done – if she had left her bare shoulders out of the shot it would have been a different matter. We wish her well for the future in the teaching profession.’