(Duval, Florida) – A substitute teacher in Jacksonville, Florida has been suspended from her job this week after a student captured photographs of the educator wearing a phallic apparatus and pantomiming graphic, adult-oriented scenarios during class. Sharon Mercer is the 39-year-old substitute teacher who was hired to present a course in sexual education for a group of 6th grade students at Clinton Middle school. The School, which is located in Duval County, five minutes outside of Jacksonville, FL, is occupied by over 200 students, and teaches grades 5 to 9.
The disciplinary action occurred after several photographs of Ms. Mercer’s questionable demonstration was posted onto the popular image site, imgur. The pictures, taken with a student’s cell phone, clearly depict Mercer mimicking lewd gestures of questionable legal, ethical and educational value.
Mercer, who identifies as a bisexual, gender-queer woman, is a proud member of the LGBTQ community, claims she did nothing wrong by portraying these acts for her class, and that the students left school far more enlightened than they had been prior to the days lesson.
In an email exchange with National Report, Sandra Mercer insisted that her suspension was an act of bigotry, and a step back for gay rights in the workplace.
Clinton Elementary School declined to comment on the teacher’s suspension, returning neither our phone calls nor our emails. Fortunately we were able to get in touch with one of the parents whose child attended Ms. Mercer’s class on the day in question.
“It’s sick” said Nancy Watts, mother of two, and long time resident of Duval county. “I went to this very same elementary school when I was a little girl. There were never any sort of these nasty classes back then. If a teacher had done something like what Ms. Mercer did, they would have been locked up in the county jail. How dare she leave the parents to explain all the disturbing mental images she has left our children with? Now my little girl thinks she may be gay. She can’t be gay! She’s only ten years old!”
Other residents of the small community are said to share similar sentiments regarding the teacher’s antics, and the parents have banned together in protest, calling for the faculty members permanent termination. It is still unknown what the school board’s final judgement will be on the matter, but they have issued a letter of apology to the parents and students who attended Mercers class, and assured them that the offending material will be omitted from future sex ed courses indefinitely.
Jane M. Agni (2014, June 2)
Originally Published On National Report