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December 18, 2009

Teacher on leave after taking choral students to Hooters

USA Today:

Choral teacher Mary Segall

A choral music teacher whose students performed at one of President Obama's inauguration events has been put on administrative leave after taking 40 students to eat at a Hooters in downtown Phoenix.

Mary Segall, a choir director at Paradise Valley High School in northeast Phoenix, accompanied choral students at a performance at Arizona Center last week. While there, the students ate lunch at the Hooters restaurant, said Judi Willis, spokeswoman for the district.

Segall told her principal that the restaurant, known for its busty waitresses in tight shirts and orange shorts, was the only place that could accommodate a group of that size. She could not be reached for comment.

"We believe that there are many venues for lunch for a large group of people in the downtown Phoenix area," Willis said. "There could have been a choice that might have been more appropriate, given that it was a school-day event with a school employee in charge."

Although parents knew students would be performing at Arizona Center, it is unclear whether they knew that their children would eat lunch at the restaurant. "I know that it was a complete surprise to the principal," Willis said. Several adults who aren't employees of the district accompanied Segall and the students on the trip. Willis said she does not know whether the adults challenged Segall's decision.

Segall, who has taught in the district for more than 23 years, was planning to retire at the end of January before the incident. She took the school choir to Washington, D.C., in January to perform at the "History in the Making: A Dream and a Change Inaugural Ball."

Willis said she does not know whether Segall will return to the district before she retires. "I am sure that someone is covering her classes," she said.

After teaching for 23 years this is how they thank her! These are high school kids for goodness sake - not kindergarten kids. I've never actually been to a Hooters (honest) but surely they are pretty tame. Not exactly a strip club. Why are some people so afraid of breasts?

Posted by acapnews at December 18, 2009 12:07 AM


Welcome to the absurdity that is Arizona. The ultra-conservatism around these parts is out of control. We have a racist sheriff who shakes down hispanic folks in hopes that they're here illegally, congress members who believe the earth is 8,000 years old, and John McCain. It's a sad state of affairs.

There's also a noticeable lack of a cappella groups, unfortunately. I've enjoyed your blog. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Tony Barnhart at December 18, 2009 9:49 PM

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