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Sacramento high school cheerleading coach Carlie Beck is without a job because photos of her as Playboy’s CyberGirl of the Week surfaced and parents weren’t happy.

Carlie Beck knew not everyone would be pleased with her pictures, she didn’t think parents’ opinions would interfere with her job, she said in an interview with a California NBC affiliate. “I think I went into this thinking people will have their opinions but if they don’t want to see the pictures, they won’t look at them.” She said she doesn’t regret posing for the photos but she is upset at having lost her job.

The complaining parent and mother of the former head cheerleader Heather Geniella says she doesn’t think it’s fair for the coach to be held to different standards than the cheerleaders.

Mrs. Geniella sat down with Matt Lauer on the Today Show, along with her husband Scott and daughter Adelle. Matt Lauer questioned Mr. and Mrs. Geniella’s motives, saying some have said the Geniellas’ complaint about Coach Beck had more to do with their daughter’s dismissal from the team after missing too many practices than with the photographs. Adelle didn’t tell her parents about the rumors of Beck’s photos until she’d been cut from the team, which is at best, convenient, at worst, vindictive. Mrs. Geniella said, “She was upset at the double standard that she wasn’t good enough to be in a leadership position but Carlie was.”

But one has nothing to do with the other. Beck made a choice as an adult to express her sexuality in a specific way; Adelle didn’t meet her obligations. Speaking to Matt Lauer, Adelle’s father Scott said, “This is a leader of young women. They want to hold the children to a very high standard. These cheerleaders are not allowed to have racy pictures on MySpace, there’s a lot of things they’re not able to do, or shouldn’t.” As if to say that should necessarily also mean Coach Beck shouldn’t be able to take whatever photos she wants (also, dad, who is using MySpace in 2013?). But that comparison is ridiculous; there is an enormous difference between an adult posing nude on the Internet and a high school student posing nude. One of the biggest differences? If those girls were to post photos like Beck’s Playboy photos, many of them would be in trouble for distributing child pornography because they’re minors. An expression of sexuality is very different from issues of punctuality. If Beck is the kind of upstanding, hardworking coach most of her cheerleaders think she is, we can imagine she probably showed up on time and well-prepared for her shoot.

Mrs. Geniella says she didn’t ask for Coach Beck to lose her job, what it is she could possibly have hoped to gain by bringing the photos to the attention of the school board? This seems like senseless slut shaming. Her sexual life, taking place outside the the context of the school does not have a bearing on her leadership skills, and it stands to reason this might not have been such an issue had she been a man. In 2011, a Florida teacher was fired once it came to light he had been adult film star, but he was later reinstated.

An adult is obviously a sexual being. Of course, it’s not comfortable for parents know there’s visual evidence floating out there, but it seems the wrong conversation is happening. Maybe parents should first ask, how did you find this content in the first place? Students shouldn’t have seen because they’re underage, and besides, the photos of Beck showing full-frontal nudity are behind a paywall. And more importantly, what do you think about it? This conversation is important because there’s virtually no way for teenagers to avoid pornographic material. They should have a chance to think critically about their opinions. Heather and Scott Geniella should have asked why, exactly, Adelle told Lauer she lost respect for her coach. Maybe Adelle wouldn’t pose for these photos, but perhaps she can understand how a person who has isn’t a bad person. A big part of a parents’ job is to teach a child right from wrong. But the hardest life lesson? Understanding how to live with gray areas.

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