Social Media in Music Education: A Cautionary Tale

Last week, I came across this news story about a friendly, neighborhood band director. It seems he’s filling in this year for the school’s regular band director. According to the article, he “appears to have become active online while earning a music education degree at Eastern Illinois University. He graduated magna cum laude in 2012.”

A recent college grad. Active on social media. That’s not surprising. Seems like this band director gig, even if it’s temporary, is a good foot in the door for his budding career.

So what’s the problem?

This guy has a shoe fetish.

Who cares, right? I’m sure it doesn’t affect his work. What he does on his own personal time is irrelevant.

But.

It’s not just ANY shoe fetish. He has a thing specifically for cheerleader shoes.

“I have many fetishes and I think that’s why I can’t stay away. I see a girl wearing cheer shoes, or I just see a sexy girl wearing any piece of clothing or shoes, that gets my blood boiling, and I’m drawn in. High heels, high heel boots, Keds, various athletic sneakers accompanied with leggins and great legs, and I’m hooked.”

uconn-cheerleader-kristen01And he works at a high school. Which, presumably, has a cheerleading squad.

Kind of a sticky situation, yes?

It wouldn’t be an issue at all, I suspect, except for the fact that he let it be known very WIDELY and PUBLICLY via social media that he’s into cheerleader shoes…in kind of a creepy way, if you ask this mom of two girls.

In his own defense, he wrote,

I post about stuff that turns me on. It aint hurting anybody, it’s funny to a lot of people (i.e. almost 450 followers), and I’ve met some cool people thru my Instagram/twitter journey. So, just bc somebody likes something that may seem weird or repulsive to you, don’t judge a book by its cover bc society tells you that you should.”

On the face of his statement, I agree.

On the other hand, he works with kids, some of whom may be sexy girls wearing cheer shoes. His Flickr profile page features sexy photos of women, including a closeup of—how shall I say this?—a woman’s décolletage.

It’s a hot mess. If you don’t believe me, check out the comments. Both sides have valid arguments.

But this didn’t have to happen at all.

Had he minded his own digital footprint, by using some common sense and self-editing, this never would have happened.

Pro tip: If you’re planning a career working with high school kids, it may not be the best idea to splash your sexual attraction to cheerleaders ALL over the internet.

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