For Suspending A Teacher's Aide Who Modeled On The Side, The Muzzle Award Goes To André Ravenelle

Working as a professional model in various states of undress is a perfectly legal way to make a living. So, for that matter, is helping special-education kids as a classroom aide.

Kaitlin Pearson was doing both — though not at the same time — until one day last January, when Fitchburg schools superintendent André Ravenelle found out about her part-time job posing partially nude for publications such as ModelsMania. Ravenelle suspended her with pay after someone anonymously sent some of her photos to the school department.

“The only comment I would make is, we would be committed to take action on anything that we’re knowledgeable of that would pose any concern of someone working with students,” Ravenelle told the Sentinel & Enterprise of Fitchburg.

Not surprisingly, Pearson’s story went viral, spreading across the country and overseas, with Britain’s racy Daily Mail weighing in with a story and many, many pictures. But Pearson had done nothing wrong. School officials soon reinstated her. And Pearson’s modeling career got a huge boost.

“I’m not going to stop pursuing something I love,” Pearson said in an interview WBZ-TV. “I love my kids and I love teaching them and I love modeling.”