American artist Georgia O'Keeffe (1887 - 1986) poses outdoors beside an easel with a canvas from her series, 'Pelvis Series Red With Yellow,' Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1960.
Tony Vaccaro—Getty Images
April 28, 2016 10:06 AM EDT

A substitute teacher said she was fired from her position in a Michigan middle school for using the word vagina during a discussion of Georgia O’Keefe’s art, according to reports.

Allison Wint said she used the word during a discussion of controversy in art that featured paintings from O’Keefe, according to a Detroit Free Press report. She had intended to prompt a discussion but did not use the word in a “vulgar capacity,” she said.

Officials at Harper Creek middle school say that Wint was fired for veering from curriculum without informing the school’s principal, . “We do not shy away from controversial issues,” said Harper Creek Superintendent Rob Ridgeway. “We work very diligently to ensure that all students, staff and contracted personnel are treated fairly with respect and privacy.”

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