Teacher’s side business stirs student body

By Jenny Baldwin

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*By Sarah Craig and Megan Dwyer*

News of social studies teacher Courtney Osborne’s “relationship enhancement products” website went viral Nov. 24, spreading the word of her outside business to students and staff. Slumber Parties Inc. sells sexual enhancement products and offers business opportunities exclusively to women.

On the site, slumberpartiesbycourtneyo.com, she wrote that her involvement in the business started in August 2006.

“I went to a party and decided it was so fun and tastefully done that I had to become a romance enhancement consultant myself,” Osborne wrote in her “Slumber Story” on the site. “It allows me to work a full time job and still make enough money that I have visited Qatar [and] Italy.”

“It’s a good money maker,” Osborne said in an interview Wednesday. “It’s completely legitimate.”

Administrators were alerted to the site by students that morning. Students told assistant principal Jennifer Webster that the link was all over Facebook and twitter the previous evening.

Osborne’s party consulting services are similar to that of a Tupperware party planner, where a host earns money or discounts for the products that she sells to her friends. Osborne earns money for the intimate products she sells and the parties she plans as an agent of Slumber Parties Inc.

Her site was not blocked from MCPS internet accounts until after 2 p.m. that day, according to principal Alan Goodwin. However, students can still access other Slumber Parties Inc. consultants’ pages in school.

Osborne compared her activities to any outside part-time job, like bartending. She said her involvement in the business has been blown out of proportion.

“It’s only news because it’s really exciting right now,” she said. “It’s high school.”

Although news of the site caused some disruption in classes, principal Alan Goodwin said there’s little that the school can do to get involved at this point.

“If it’s one day of high-flying gossip, then there isn’t any involvement,” Goodwin said. “If it came to the point where a teacher wasn’t able to effectively be a teacher, then that’s when Human Resources gets involved.”

Osborne, who also serves as one of two MCEA union representatives for Whitman, contends her work outside of school has not and will not affect her work in school. She said she currently has no plans to alter or take down the site.

Goodwin met with Osborne to discuss the situation Nov. 24. He said he was sensitive to Osborne’s rights.

“In many ways it’s a private matter, but becomes a public matter if it lasts and becomes detrimental,” Goodwin explained.

Some parents have called the school to alert Goodwin to the website’s existence. Goodwin expects more calls to come in over the next few school days, “and that would be understandable,” he said.

He planned to discuss the incident at the PTSA meeting Nov. 25.

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