Kansas Teacher/TikToker Says He Was Fired for Comedy Videos About Farting on Students
A Kansas comedian and public school teacher says that he was fired from his day job for bragging about crop dusting his students in a viral TikTok video. Wisely, he did not plead innocence – everyone knows he who denied it supplied it.
In 2023, every single profession under the capitalist sun has a bustling online community devoted to exploring successes and struggles of specific fields. Platforms like TikTok are lousy with E.R. nurses, divorce lawyers, arborists, VCR repairmen and dog therapists whose side hustles as occupational influencers almost eclipse their day jobs in terms of the time and effort put into maintaining their followings – as well as the ad revenue they get out of the whole deal.
Unsurprisingly, public school teachers are some of the most common profession-posters on the internet, as the sheer absurdity of the educational system combined with the emotional and financial thanklessness of their necessary vocation drives these instructors to online outlets where they can score some quick cash while venting about their careers through comedy.
Stephen Taylor, a now-former history teacher at the Mill Creek Campus alternative school in Olathe, Kansas, combined his eight-year stand-up comedy career with his six-year actual career in education to post viral TikToks in which he bragged about lying to children about Abraham Lincoln (but not in the Southern way) and saving his lactose intolerance farts to blast in their faces during class. Once they caught wind of the operation, the Olathe school board quickly decided that they could not be silent, and their reaction was deadly to his day job.
Taylor’s former school district had a strict policy about teachers posting on social media in which they demanded “the same level of personal responsibility, discretion and professionalism expected in any other form of communication.” Taylor’s bosses demanded that he take down the offending videos, many of which have amassed six-figure view counts in a series Taylor aptly titled “Fart Gate.” Taylor refused, and, last month the school board voted to fire him for the offense.
“They don’t understand it. The social media policies are designed for Myspace. They are years behind where we are currently at in the world, which is, TikTok is alive and well, everyone is on it,” Taylor told his local Fox affiliate about the school board’s stance on teachers unleashing thunder down under on children to impress other children online. Before the school board voted to fire Taylor, he addressed them in a statement, saying, “You are going to vote at the end of this to fire a teacher who has incredible evaluations, great relationships with students and cares deeply about their success. I am that teacher, and this is all because of TikTok.”
As for his motives behind refusing to remove the offending videos, Taylor said plainly, “The reason I’m doing comedy on TikTok is to make money because you only pay me $45,000 a year and I work all the time.” Since his dismissal, Taylor says that he has received 13 job offers from different schools, though he’s decided to take time off from education to focus on his comedy with 30 upcoming stand-up sets booked for his “Teacher Shortage Tour.”
Without a day job to hold down, hopefully the lactose intolerant Taylor will make some significant cheddar with his newfound notoriety – and hecklers in the front row will get more than dressed-down.