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Teacher Fired over a Bikini?

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She claims school officials fired her after they suspected she worked on a topless fishing boat.


Tiffany Shepherd, the single mother of three boys, ages 9, 6, and 2, never suspected that a second job she took on a fishing boat would cause her to lose her teaching job. Shepherd, who taught science for four years at a high school in Port St. Lucie, Florida, says she decided to take a second job onboard a fishing boat where she wore a bikini while assisting customers.

However, Tiffany says when school administrators mistakenly believed she was working on a topless charter boat, she lost her job. While school officials claim they let her go due to excessive tardiness and absences, Tiffany is convinced her bikini moonlighting gig had something to do with her firing. Tiffany shares her personal story with momlogic.

Momlogic: When did you learn something was wrong at your job?

Tiffany: Looking back, my administrators had been acting weird towards me about a week before they let me go. I had no idea why, and then it came out that they knew I was working for Smokin' Em Charters. Last week, I had a neurologist appointment in the morning and went to work that afternoon. When I arrived at the school, I was told I was terminated. I was escorted off campus and they took my keys.

Momlogic: What was your reaction?

Tiffany: I was numb. I wasn't expecting it. I wasn't allowed to go to my classroom to get my belongings. I can't even be at the school without an escort. I felt like I had committed a crime. I was shocked, especially after hearing some of the rumors that have been going around the school and county. People are saying I am a stripper, I have a porn site, that there are naked photos of me online, and that I was doing inappropriate things with school workers. None of this is true.

Momlogic: What was your job on the boat?

Tiffany: I was a bikini mate on a charter fishing boat. I wore a bikini, helped bait the lines, and served sodas and sandwiches. Most of the guys who come on the boat had never fished, so I helped them reel them in. There is an art to reeling in 50-pound fish, and I have been going deep-sea fishing since I was a little girl.

Momlogic: Has this ordeal affected your kids?

Tiffany: My kids are in the school district and my 9-year-old can't believe I am in the news. Before I started this, I talked to my parents to make sure it would be OK. I also sat my kids down and asked them if they minded if I took this job. I've had a boat since before they were even born, and I fished my entire life. I explained that this job would give me more time with them and more money.

Momlogic: Why did you take this job?

Tiffany: I took it because before I was serving tables on the side and not making enough money. I wasn't seeing my children. I taught school all day and served tables all night. There was no breather, I barely had time to eat, and it was all too much, plus raising my three kids. This job provided me with more money and for less hours. And I love to fish, so it was right up my alley!

Momlogic: What do you want moms to know?

Tiffany: I think that anyone should be respected for trying to make ends meet and not asking for a handout. People have been judging me for the wrong reasons. They have judged me for working onboard the boat in a bikini and they judge me because I have tattoos on my arm (which are my kids' names). What they don't know is that my youngest nearly died last year. When I thought I was going to lose him, I tattooed my kids' names on my arm -- it means something to me. People think I am a tramp, but I am a hard-working single mother raising my three children.

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Would you want Tiffany teaching your kids?

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13 comments so far | Post a comment now
WoRm May 2, 2008, 8:32 PM

She works 2 jobs to take care of herself and kids, now she only has one job. Uptight school officals need to be fired.

Alecia May 2, 2008, 9:15 PM

As a teacher myself, I can totally relate to not making enough money to support a family. She wasn’t doing anything inappropriate. Where is her Teacher’s union? She needs to sue the district to get her job back! Unless they have documentation that they had taken disciplinary action prior to firing her and that she had been warned, they can not just up and fire a teacher. Either there is more to this story or this is a serious case of injustice.

Tammi October 31, 2008, 10:04 AM

as long as she is not wearing any of those close to school and she is not sleeping with my son (which happens way too often), then i don’t see a problem. what she does on her own time is her business….i would understand if it was a topless boat, or a strip joint or naked pictures online, but COME ON!

Charles October 31, 2008, 10:43 AM

She’s probably a republican, so the Teacher’s Union doesn’t care. Otherwise there would be a lawsuit the next day.

Tara November 1, 2008, 3:26 AM

Charles - did you not notice this is MOMlogic??? Please go take your stupid comments elsewhere.

jill November 1, 2008, 9:12 AM

Excuse you ,Tara that was a sexest remark

jill November 1, 2008, 9:15 AM

Charles - did you not notice this is MOMlogic??? Please go take your stupid comments elsewhere.

jill November 1, 2008, 9:18 AM

Excuse you ,Tara that was a sexist remark

Tara November 1, 2008, 12:22 PM

But you think that Charles posting incredibly stupid comments on a site meant for women is okay?? Frankly, I am tired of men posting stuff on here. I come here because it is for WOMEN, our issues, our opinions… man free please!

Buster (100% Male) November 1, 2008, 1:43 PM


Bite me!!

Tara November 1, 2008, 5:11 PM

You wish

James November 1, 2008, 11:04 PM

Lets face it Unions, as a whole, only protect the guilty
and the lazy not those who are innocent or those who work and try to support a family. Male of female.

K. Cleaver November 7, 2008, 12:18 PM

Her job is to bait their hooks and reel in their catches…wearing a bikini. ROFLMAO!

There is actually more to the story. Of course telling the whole story doesn’t make it interesting news. They said she was actually fired for missing more than 30 days during the school year. Google it and read more.

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