Teacher may lose job over classroom photo, Benjamin Franklin quote

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Teacher May Lose Job Over Classroom Picture

MARLOW, Okla. – A seemingly innocent picture of a cat and a Benjamin Franklin quote has a Marlow history teacher in hot water, KFOR.com reports.

Steven Alcorn has been a teacher for nearly 40 years. Now, he's suspended over a drawing of a grey cat and a quote paraphrasing a Benjamin Franklin letter known today as "Advice to a Young Man on Choosing a Mistress."

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Alcorn has had the picture in his classroom for years with the quote "In the dark, all cats are grey."

It's paraphrasing a Benjamin Franklin letter from 1745, advising a young man to choose an older woman as his companion.

Former student Amber Abrego says she never thought the quote was a big deal and thinks Alcorn's suspension is unfair.

"I think it's awful, why would you want to do that to someone who has been so loyal to their school, who came to every single football game?" Abrego said.

Brian Jacob says he can see where the school is coming from.

"Nowadays everything's really touchy on subjects like that. Suspended? I can see it," Jacob said.

As to why the history teacher had such a strange quote displayed, Alcorn's attorney, Richard O'Carroll, told the Duncan Banner, "Just as Ben Franklin was a great man in terms of science and a founder of our nation, he was still a man. People need to know these things, not just the myths and legends, but who they are."

If the school makes a recommendation, Alcorn and O'Carroll want a fair hearing before the school board.

Alcorn is hoping to keep doing what he loves. His former student hope that too.

"I hope that he gets to keep his job. I hope that he gets more respect out of this because he deserves it. He's a good man, he's a good teacher," Abrego said.

The school wouldn't comment because it's a personnel issue and a pending legal matter. The next Marlow school board meeting is Monday night.

We're told folks from the community plan to attend and give their opinions on all of this.

Alcorn's attorney says if the school fires him, they're going to put up a big fight.

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