Bikini-clad appearance on Howard Stern show

Second grade teacher Marie Jarry called in sick one day to her job at the Southington, Ct. public schools, which perhaps was not strictly accurate, since the next day she and her husband won first prize in a “Hottest Wife, Ugliest Husband” contest on the Howard Stern show. Now she’s suing over being pressured to resign from her job; school authorities invoked a school “morality clause” and were really mean about the little sick day fib (The Smoking Gun, Jun. 27, with copy of complaint). Writes Daniel Schwartz: “In thinking about this case, I can’t help but think of the irony of this case compared with a case down south last month which held that a female employee was subjected to a ‘hostile work environment’ because of the ‘vulgar radio programming’ in her workplace. And what was that vulgar programming? The Howard Stern show of course … While the particulars of this case will play out in court, what is striking about the complaint is the unwillingness to acknowledge that the teacher bears any responsibility for what occurred.” (Connecticut Employment Law Blog, Jul. 2).


  • Walter, I don’t think we can fairly evaluate this case without pictures.

  • Follow the Smoking Gun link.

  • Obviously she should apply for a position in the Long Island school district – per your other posting today.

  • The only question here, to me, is how evenly they enforce that policy. That is, is it just because she “called in sick” to do something they don’t like that they are trying to can her, or do they do this anytime it is clear someone has called in sick when they clearly weren’t?

  • Just to add to Deoxy’s comment: my employment contract specifies increasing penalties for abuse of ‘sick leave’. Step one is counseling, step two is sick leave probabtion. Termination isn’t even on the table.

    I’m surprised a large employer such as a school district has not spelled out the penalties for abuse of sick leave, esspecially considering the special burden that sick leave abuse places on a school, they have to call in a sub and basically lose a day of instruction. Perhaps they do and a criminal charge really is their step 1 punishment.

    Either way, if I were her princiapal, rather than firing her I would have organized a faculty pool party.

  • I’ve seen the pix. She isn’t that hot and he doesn’t look like that big of a dork. Maybe she was forced out for false advertising.

  • I think it is easy for the school to defend, even if they dont have an automatic firing process for sick leave abuse. When you consider that she flaunted that she wasnt sick by appearing on a national radio/tv program it rises to a level above normal abuse.

    Factor in the almost immediate loss of credibility that she will suffer with parents and students because of this appearance an I can readily support her termination.

  • Factor in the almost immediate loss of credibility that she will suffer with parents and students because of this appearance an I can readily support her termination.

    Tracy, this is a perfect example of having double standards. It is ostensibly okay for anyone at the school to watch the show in question, but it is not okay for one of their staff to appear on the show.

    Fair enough – she did lie about being sick. However, if her work contract didn’t allow her to take a day off for “personal reasons”, then what was she supposed to do? If she had told

    How about this solution… The woman drops the case against the school, hits the Howard Stern Show up for advertising collateral, and then she moves somewhere where people don’t live in caves.

  • Walter,

    I hear the skit on the Howard Stern show and she did not do anything immoral or that should have caused her to get fired. I have definitely seen worse.

    If that is why she was forced out (and she certainly was forced out), she should get her job back.

    If, however, she was fired for taking a “sick day” to compete on the show, that is a separate issue.

    Brad in Conecticut

  • Oops – typo – heard the skit…

  • Peter,

    Explain how this is a double standard? There is a significant difference between watching and participating in something like this. If in fact a teacher at the school listened to Howard Stern around their students I would support sanctions of some type against them too, since I find the show inappropriate for kids.

    Take our argument to the nth degree. Is it ok for a teacher to perform in a pornographic film just because some parents or fellow teachers may watch porn at home?

  • Seems to me that people are playing down the significance of the ‘abuse of sick leave’ issue. In breech of contract she lied to her employer, causing easily identified costs to the school (the substitute), plus disrupting the orderly educational experience of at least 20 students.
    In exchange for 3 months of summer vacation, teachers don’t get to just take personal days during the academic year. If teachers want to be treated as a profession, then they cannot just consider themselves interchangeable cogs that can be freely changed in and out of the classroom just to meet their personal whims.

  • Is it ok for a teacher to perform in a pornographic film just because some parents or fellow teachers may watch porn at home?

    Goodness, I hope so, and I find porn morally abhorent (but I find government interference with private business worse).

    Now, a PRIVATE school should be able to release someone from employment as they see fit, and a school without some kind of union crap should also be able to do so, but if there are rules about this stuff (and there are), especially if the government is involved, then they should be evenly enforced without regard to what one does in one’s private life.

  • All bikini appearences should be exempt from normal restrictions.

  • I agree with the posters questioning what the sick leave policy is — not just what it says, but how the employer has treated it with other teachers (did the employer expect and condone other teachers using sick leave for personal purposes?).

    If the teacher were fired for taking a sick day to care for a seriously sick friend (or depending on the contract possibly even a sick child or spouse!), it would morally be less objectionable but would from a contract perspective be the same. The issue is what the “real” sick day policy is — if it’s okay for other teachers to use them for personal purposes, then it’s okay for this teacher (even though I can’t stand the Howard Stern show, think she was stupid and wrong, etc.).

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