Atlanta Public Schools officials have addressed the recent uproar about one of its employee’s fashion choices. Dubbed #TeacherBae by some on social media, Patrice Brown became the subject of a fierce debate about Black women’s bodies and what’s appropriate attire for teachers when images of the educator began making the rounds on social media.
Though she was initially described as a teacher, APS confirmed Brown is an elementary school paraprofessional with the district, but did not specify her job function. Paraprofessionals are teaching-related positions like teacher’s aids, instructional aids, or some other role.
Brown’s commitment to her students came into question after photos showing the educator in form-fitting clothing were shared across the web. Some questioned her judgment, while others defended her choices, pointing out she was fully covered in all of the images.
EBONY.com contributor LaSha argued many made unfair snap judgments about Brown based on her outfits alone.
Strangers have deduced from a few pictures that her own supposed obsession with her body’s desirability prevented her from making better choices about her classroom attire. Never mind that this Black woman has followed the path sold to us as the key to success, completing college and securing an honorable professional position. Never mind her enthusiasm for teaching, and presumably her students, is as evident as her fashion sense. For some, what is most remarkable about this woman, a Black teacher in the same state where several Black teachers were sentenced to decades in prison for falsifying test scores, is that her outfits accentuate her frame.
APS officials say they have addressed the situation. In a statement published byAtlanta’s WXIA-TV, the district said they had given Brown “guidance regarding the APS Employee Dress Code, the use of social media, and Georgia Code of Ethics for educators, and she has been cooperative in addressing her presence on social media.”