Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bonus post! This rant brought to you by the letter "E"

Okay, not to go all Ranty McRantypants on you, but one thing (okay, a few things, really) that sets me off is bullying.  This is for a variety of reasons that I'm not going into, but here's what's up.

You all probably remember that my "E" entry was for "Erotica," right?  If you haven't read it, click here.  Okay, so you know writing smexy stories isn't anything to be ashamed of, but apparently, normal people aren't supposed to do that, or they get crucified in the media.

Here's the article: http://snydercounty.wnep.com/news/news/parents-english-teacher-writes-racy-novels/58743

In a nutshell, Judy Buranich has been a high school English teacher for 25 years in Pennsylvania.  She's also an author of erotic romance (again, read my "E" entry) with Ellora's Cave under the name Judy Mays.  One of her students' parents "somehow" came across her on the internet, and "outed" her to the community, calling what she does "disgusting."  This seasoned educator, who, by the way, is even called a "good teacher" in the article, could be in danger of losing her job for something that is no one's business but her own.

I am disgusted that they're even calling this news.  For one, what Judy does in her off hours and own time is her business.  She's not hurting anyone, and her ability to teach her students is unaffected.  So, where's the issue?  Are teachers supposed to be held to the ideal that they live at the school, live for their jobs, are chaste and virginal and don't have lives?  Apparently so.  It's not like she was teaching from her novels, or cranking out sex scenes on her laptop while her students were writing essays on The Scarlet Letter.  It's obvious she wanted to keep her writing separate from her school teaching, because she used a pseudonym.  Guess there's no need for that anymore.

But what I truly find "disgusting," to use the naive Ms. Apple's word, is that she and these other people have started a witch hunt and targeted a productive, well-liked member of their community.  Where I come from, that's called "bullying."  Clearly Apple and Co. want this woman out of their school system for whatever reason.  And if Ms. Apple thinks this is her 15 year old son's (I'm guessing on his age...Judy teaches 10th grade) first exposure to sex, she really needs a wake-up call.  I highly doubt he believes the stork story anymore, lady, and if he does, he's as delusional as you are.  You might want to start with, "When two people love each other very much..." and go from there.

Also, turn this around a bit.  Picture this same scenario, only the teacher is man, and he writes horror novels.  I have a feeling this news story would have been a "spotlight on a local author who also teaches at our high school" instead.  And that's sad.  

Now for what is good about the situation.  One, most of the comments in the comment section of the news article are in favor of Judy, as are the comments on WNEP 16s Facbook page.  Many comments point out common sense things that should have occurred to the people writing this drivel in the first place. Feel free to "like" them (more of a "dislike" for me, really, but there is no button for that), and comment as well.


Without good English teachers, you get shitty signs like this.
I've also heard that Judy's book sales have picked up, which is awesome, because she (possibly) might be out of a job she's had and loved for 25 years thanks to some nosy, naive busybodies.  And that's the nicest possible thing I could have called them.

If you're interested, here's the link to Judy Mays' author page.  Go buy her books and celebrate the written word, whatever its form.  http://www.jasminejade.com/m-114-judy-mays.aspx

Thoughts?

**Little extra note: I just discovered that WNEP actually DELETED all of the comments, which were mainly in support of Judy.  Interesting... **

Now, back to your regularly scheduled A-Z programming.

xoxo Sarah

10 comments:

  1. Very well thought out post (which means it's not a typical "rant"). Read several blog entries and articles concerning this. It is disgusting, all of this "holier than thou" attitude. But then, the knives are out for the teachers in this country anyway, aren't they? Let's just get rid of them and put our kids to work in the mines and in the fields. We don't need no educashun.

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  2. Wait a minute, why can't we start with, "When one person has a bunch of extra money and can't "get" any on his own..." That's perfectly valid, right? Right?

    I was almost a teacher. An English teacher at that. But I just couldn't deal with the "system." To tell you the truth, yes, teachers are "supposed" to be young, virginal females. There used to actually be laws in some areas about that. Despite what research has shown to be true about education (such as students doing better with more smaller breaks throughout the school year rather than one long summer break), we continue to hold to traditions about the way things should be. One of those is that teachers are not, actually, real people. They don't get to have lives.

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  3. You go, Sarah! Yep, Ive posted this story on FB, joined the FB support site, and bought one of her books.

    Not sure I would call Ms. Apple "naive." Somebody brought this to the attention of the press, and did you notice that one of the former students was also named Apple?

    Wonder what the underlying grudge is/was?

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  4. @Li: I know I'm a bit late to the blog-post-party about this situation, but I had to cool down a bit and think this through. I'm glad it paid off. I can't agree more with your comment...great points!

    @Andrew: *sigh* Yes, with the abundance of information out there, we sure like to stick our heads in the sand about stuff. And that's sad. :-/

    @Beverly: Thank you for the RT! For Ms. Apple, I meant naive in the sense that she didn't seem to think her son was exposed to anything sexual, and had it brought to his attention through this whole "scandal", which was, ironically, partly his mother's making. I did notice that one of the other students seemed to be related to her. Probably NOT a coincidence. Definitely some kind of weird vendetta going on there...

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  5. How about them Apples? hehe. I heard about this earlier and just can't believe how prudish suburban America really is (I can say that---I live there). BUNCH of naive parents out there as far as their children's exposure to sex goes. I've learned that since getting my not-erotica-but-plenty-of-sexual-detail novel published. LOVE that her book sales are going up! Also love the facepalm poster---my poor husband gets that look quite often, but no one can do it like Tommy Lee. ;)

    Excellent post, thanks for writing it.

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  6. Haha, great pun, Nicki. Oh, I'd believe it...I came from a small town, and now live in the South. I've seen a lot of weirdness, lol. I'm happy you liked the post!

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  7. Sex/Sexual Love=Bad.
    Extreme Violence=OK.

    Something is wrong with this viewpoint. I wonder what games/movies her son play/watches. Because sex it "dirty and forbidden" to some, it creates it's own possible violence in some.

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  8. I agree. There's something weird about that scenario. :-/

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  9. Sarah, I've been loving your A-Z posts, and your take on this viral story is just as good. Go Judy!

    Even though the facebook comments are gone, the comments on the news station's website are still up. You can view them here: http://www.wnep.com/wnep-sny-parents-buranich-english-teacher-writes-racy-novels-20110426,0,4057307.story No more comments are being accepted, though.

    I've only read through three pages (out of 16) of comments and have yet to find any who were not in favor of the teacher. I especially liked the one who posted the link to her amazon account and encouraged a purchase.

    Apparently Ms. Apple has since privatized her facebook account. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to see what kind of posts she was getting on her wall...

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  10. Hey, Robin! *hugs* Thank you! I'm glad to hear that they didn't delete the ones on their website. They deserved to hear what the viewers thought about their, ahem, reporting.

    I hadn't looked at Ms. Apple's FB page, but heard that she had one. I'm not surprised to learn that she privatized it...but I would have liked to have seen the wall posts!

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