PENNSAUKEN — A New Jersey educator with an eye-catching figure who went viral for photos of her tight clothes in the classroom has made her first TV appearance and released her first children’s book.
Roxsana Diaz is an art teacher at Pennsauken Elementary School. She is known to her students as Miss A.
But the Internet knows her better by sight than by name. Viral photos posted to her @toyboxdollz Instagram page, which now has more than a million followers, captured national attention in late August. She also received calls for her to lose her job.
NJ art teacher responds to criticism
The teacher made her first public appearance on Friday as a guest on the Tamron Hall talk show. Diaz was part of an episode focusing on people’s stories that recently made viral headlines.
During his interview, Diaz said the controversial photos were published well over a year before being picked up by national media. At first, a lot of people were supportive and she thought the attention was fun.
But soon after, she started getting comments calling for her to be fired and telling her to be a stripper or an adult movie star.
“It became a concern when the tabloids turned everything into something ugly versus ‘look at that curvaceous handsome teacher,'” Diaz said.
Miss A. retains her teaching position
After he entered the national consciousness, Diaz’s supervisors took notice. While critics said she dressed inappropriately, her employers apparently disagreed.
“Nope [dress inappropriately]. I wouldn’t have the job for the many years that I had it. I volunteered for seven years at this school before I even took the teaching job,” Diaz said. “It’s so scary how social media and the world can really feed you all this stuff. that they want to feed you.”
Diaz added that following calls for him to be fired, his students feared they had lost their art teacher.
“Two of my daughters, two little girls, ran up to me almost in tears and hugged me,” Diaz said. She reassured them that she wasn’t going anywhere and changed the subject. “I don’t like talking about it with my kids.”
Pennsauken Parent Supports Art Teacher
The relative behind the viral photo appeared on the Tamron Hall show and came to Diaz’s defense.
“It was just, like, an innocent thing,” Jolea Ardnt said. “It wasn’t to exhibit or do anything bigger than it was.”
Ardnt, whose child was in class, instead wanted to draw attention to the good work Diaz was doing with his students.
The Curvy Art Teacher’s New Book
At the end of the segment, Diaz promoted his new children’s coloring book “Little Buddy Meets the ‘Art Teacher'”.
The book uses characters that Diaz says are based on puppets she used with her kindergarten through second grade students. She says the characters help children express themselves.
“Art isn’t just drawing, coloring, cutting and pasting,” Diaz said. “Art is a tool used for therapy, healing and growth.”
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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