Everything was just lovely in Middleburg, Pennsylvania. The sun was shining, people were smiling and the kids at the town’s Midd-West High School were – I’m sure – all completely wholesome and studious.
But then a dark discovery was made.
Midd-West tenth grade English teacher Judy Buranich was found to have a second job as a…wait for it…..erotica writer.
Here’s how she describes herself on her Web site.
Yes, Judy Mays – romantica writer extraordinaire who came to Earth with powers and abilities beyond those of mortal authors. Judy Mays! Who can write wild, wanton werewolves; adorable, alluring aliens; vexing, vivacious vamps; hot, haunting historicals; compelling,combustible contemporaries; sexy, surprising suspense, and cagey, cuddly kitty cats; and, who, disguised as a mild-mannered tenth grade English teacher in a small public high school, fights a never ending battle for Hot Hunks, Hip Heroines, and Salacious Sensuality!
Wow. I think I like her already.
But not everyone does. Apparently some Midd-West moms have gotten their granny panties in a twist, including Wendy Apple, who has so little faith in her parenting abilities that she fears her teenage son will be unable to concentrate in the presence of any adult who’s ever written or thought about sex.
Parent Kelly Hornberger says that “she can’t even imagine that someone would write such stuff.
“I don’t read it. I don’t watch it. And that’s how I want my children to be brought up,” said Hornberger, as if Buranich were assigning her Judy Mays’ novels as required reading. Ms. Honberger also fears that because her son’s teacher writes erotica, she may have sexual thoughts about her students. In other words, if you like sex then you just might be a pedophile. Seriously.
I’m trying to resist the urge to be mean. I really am. But I must admit that it’s hard. Looking at complaining parents like Hornberger and Deanna Stepp – who admittedly did a lot of online research on Judy Mays (wink, wink) – one can’t help but wonder if their anger is more about their own jealousy and less about this teacher’s side job. Uptight frumpy types are prone to resent women who embrace the subject of sex with a fun and healthy attitude.
Here’s a tip, ladies: Work on improving your own outlook on sex and you’ll be less inclined to pursue your insipid little witch hunt. If you’re that sexually frustrated, you probably just need some excitement. Instead of trying to crucify Ms. Buranich, you might want to start reading her books.
Fortunately, the majority of comments on the news story about this little dust-up have been in support of the teacher and sharply critical of the self-appointed moral scolds. A Facebook page in support of Judy Mays has been formed. Please join it and show her some love.
But most encouraging is the support she’s gotten from parents and former students who praise her as a teacher and defend her right to do whatever she wants to do in her spare time. That gives me hope that the students and larger community are reasonable and that ultimately, all will be well in the lovely town of Middleburg.