School wants to fire teacher who worked as stripper, but says that's not why
December 22nd, 2010
12:00 PM ET

School wants to fire teacher who worked as stripper, but says that's not why

A high school teacher in Michigan is fighting for her livelihood after school officials learned she once took a part-time job as an exotic dancer. But school officials say her performance as a school employee, not as a stripper, is what got her in trouble.

Susan Brennan, 42, took the job while on medical leave in 2006 when she and her then-husband were going through serious financial problems, CNN affiliate WOOD-TV reported.

Officials with West Ottawa Public Schools in Holland, Michigan, have suspended Brennan with pay and filed 10 charges with the school board at Monday's board meeting. However, the charges - filed in a request for a tenure hearing - pertain only to her performance in the classroom, not on the stage, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

"The charges last night were based on her teaching competency and professionalism in the classroom," school board president Scott VanderStoep told the paper Tuesday.

Brennan said people need to be compassionate and understand that many women become exotic dancers out of desperation.

"If any good can come out of this, it would be that people understand why women work in those clubs," she said.

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Filed under: Education • Michigan • Strippers • U.S.
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. MOI

    blah blah blah.,.go to burger king.. stripping is a sleazy job.. exotic dancing.. what ever u call it nowadays

    December 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrl

      You cannot say anything. Some people get desperate. There are a lot more sleazy jobs out there. You do not know her or her life. Would you rather them be on the street. And while your talking im sure you have been to a strip club or would love to go to one.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Laracuente

      Only illegal jobs are sleazy jobs.

      December 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • dsf


      December 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unsan

      What kind of illness could she have that would make her go on medical leave but still be okay for her to strip?

      January 9, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar

    @MRI: I would.

    December 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |

    I don't understand the problem. Stripping is a legal occupation.

    December 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ThomasD

    My first guess would be that they simply don't want her there because she stripped. Id like to see why they consider her to be incompetent in the classroom. Hope this isnt just another case of a stuffy school board.

    December 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Steven

    It is sad but a fact that we may not get the help we need in time of trouble. As revealed of the difficult situation, I think it is admirable of her to work as exotic dancer. Imagine if you are a man and in the same spot. Would you turn to robbery or something worse.
    It is totally biased and wrong for any action against her in view of the revelation.
    It is not that she publicly disgrace anyone but in such dire need, she did the right thing.
    If it is a lesson to learn, she is teaching everyone humility and sacrifice which some good-doers simply do not understand the pain and necessity.

    December 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • torioboy

      Before feeling sympathetic to this lady, consider her situation. As a 20 teacher in that district, she is making 60K or more with excellent benefits. That's not even the main issue. Most importantly, she was doing this while on leave from her job. So, while she was supposed to be guiding students in language studies, she was shaking it for the patrons. Should public funds be used to pay someone so negligent of their duties?

      December 24, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ProtoMan

    If she were on medical leave and still worked elsewhere then she deserves to be fired. There are many people who get unemployment or workmen comp and still work on the side. I'd never marry a dancer, but some guys consider it some huge status symbol. Most dancers are supporting a drug habit and are far from desperate damaged delicate flowers. Lol they LOVE the $$$$. That's all.

    December 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • YeahISaidItSoWhat

      ProtoMan, you are a judgmental azz. "I'd never marry a dancer, but some guys consider it some huge status symbol. Most dancers are supporting a drug habit and are far from desperate damaged delicate flowers. Lol they LOVE the $$$$. That's all...." How do you know so much about other people you never even met?

      December 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sutler

    I am ready for my lesson now, Mrs Brennan. 😛

    December 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Or would you prefer me to call you Miss Education?

      December 22, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. C TAIT

    How conveinent for the school to suddenly say it was her school performance, not her stripping, was their reason to want to fire her. Yeah, right!

    December 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 3Dlady

    Let me get this straight......she has an illness or injury that kept her on medical leave. This illness or injury had prohibited her from fullfilling her job as a classroom teacher.? However, she is able to work at what would be generally considered to be a more physically challenging job, exotic dancing/stripping.
    I do not blame the school district for thinking this action violates her employment contract.

    December 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • MLS

      3Dlady.....I thought the exact same thing.

      December 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      As much as I would like to defend this woman, this is a good point. Of course, nothing is said of the reason for medical leave or what the actual reasons the school gave for the firing. There is a lot that hasn't been put out there.

      December 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Been Therez

    I can't knock the profession. Been to strip clubs and whooped with the crowd.
    Still, though, I had the feeling was a bunch of guys hollering and showing off they
    were still "manly men." Most wouldn't have the guts to ask the local librarian out. Romantic cowards.

    December 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • WXZ

      Who wants to date an ugly nerd librarian?

      December 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CommonSense

    @3Dlady: Most of the people who commented here to defend her have very poor reading skills (which doesn't surprise me). They totally skimmed over the part about her being on (usually paid) MEDICAL LEAVE and began to take the position to defend her. I've actually known a few "dancers" personally and many chuckle at the fact that dumb men are throwing away money on them. I've had horrible teachers who didn't "dance", so I can only imagine how this fraud operated in the classroom. I'd like to see her student's test performance results as well. If a woman chooses to do that it's her business, but taxpayers paid for her medical leave. She's obviously a lazy crook. Typical MTV liberal position to defend fraud because a girl let's out a few crocodile tears.

    December 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ProtoMan

    @YeahIsaiditblahblah: I used to party a while back and have probably personally met more dancers when they were off the clock then you've met when you were on the clock. Most the girls were trash who were always on ecstasy or coke if they weren't drunk. I would say it's rare to find one who's clean and using the money to pay for school. Paying for school is I moot point anyways because with all the social programs out people can get many things for free. Trust me they just like getting paid good money for the least amount of work. I base my opinion on actual experiences, so you can call it judgmental if you want. It's my prerogative to marry whom I want is it not? Lol Are you my pimp now? Get a life loser.

    December 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • DS

      I would agree with you Protoman. These girls aren't saving their money for retirement. lol.

      December 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ProtoMan

    *they were on the clock* sorry

    December 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank

    Men of the United States,
    Never,never marry/have as a girlfriend either a Barmaid or an Exotic Dancer.You will lose your sanity worrying ever night they work over who is trying to get lucky with them.

    December 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Ah, but what a wonderful time we would have! You can keep your dull and boring librarian. I'll take my pole dancers and barmaids anyday of the week!

      December 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jimmy

    I would like for her to be my teacher

    December 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
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