As a spinoff to this post about tenure and this post about Facebook, I'd like to pose a few questions for teachers, especially ones who teach in small rural towns or in the "Bible Belt." I'm getting the impression that in some parts of the U.S., a teacher who is seen purchasing or consuming alcohol in public or wearing swim attire anyplace other than their own backyard, can be called to the carpet, so to speak, for engaging in behavior that is otherwise completely normal for adults in those communities to do. But just because you are a teacher and supposedly a "role model" you are never to drink or appear in public dressed in anything more revealing than shorts and a t-shirt. Is this true? Say a female teacher goes to a public swimming pool (in many small towns, the only one is at the local high school) and chooses to wear a bikini and is seen doing so by parents and students from her school (most of whom are dressed the same way). Would people have a problem? Are teachers in the Bible Belt essentially barred from participating in aquatics programs like I do here in California? Next question. Is there a double standard? Suppose I'm a teacher in a small Southern town. On Saturday afternoon, I need to mow my lawn. It's hot so I take my shirt off. And I have a beer as well. Don't tell me Southerners don't drink beer while mowing their lawns. Meanwhile, the teacher next door to me, is mowing her lawn. She doesn't want a "farmer tan" so she does so in a halter top. And has a beer as well. Who is more likely to be frowned upon? And in each case, assume that during the time that lawns were being mowed, several parents drove by and identified both persons as teachers at the school where their children attended. Now, it's one thing to drive by someone's house when they're mowing their lawn shirtless and later on gossip about it with your friends - "I can't believe she wears that outside." "Mr. Sarge needs to put a shirt on" etc. That kind of thing happens around here even. However, it's an entirely different thing to go to that person's principal and tell them about what they saw and expect the principal to "do something" about it. So my final question is does that ever happen? Does a parent ever actually go to a principal and complain that they say their child's teacher buying or purchasing alcohol, wearing a swimsuit in public, or anyone of a number of other things that are perfectly legal and acceptable for adults to do but somehow not Ok if the adult happens to be a teacher? And do those principals ever give in to the complaining parents and call in the teacher?