CUNY program director tweets photo in classroom without pants

The director of a CUNY program that exposes city kids to college classes appeared to have made a different kind of exposure – in a pantsless photo posted to social media.

J. Michael Steele, 52, who works with the City University of New York’s Early College Initiative, tweeted a photo Thursday of a man — who he appears to be — standing in a classroom wearing a striped polo shirt, black sneakers and wearing a face mask and nothing else.

“When it’s hot outside and inside. It’s pom pom shorts time. No children were present in this blackmail photo,” he tweeted.

When reached by The Post on Saturday, Steele denied the photo was of him. He didn’t want to say who it was and hung up.

Steele has since made his Twitter account private but provided a screenshot of the post was tweeted through the LibsofTikTok account.

“NYC … where you don’t have to wear pants to school as long as you wear the damn mask,” one person commented.

Steele directs CUNY's early college program.
Steele works with the City University of New York’s Early College Initiative.

Someone otherwise tweeted “That’s what you call professionalism. Don’t people know the appropriate behavior for work environments? Especially around children?”

Steele, a former teacher and principal in Detroit and Massachusetts, works in a CUNY program that supports 20 public middle and high schools in New York City and offers a mix of college-prep curricula and opportunities for students to earn college credit . The program is for students in grades 6 through 12.

“As an educator, I have learned that children just want to be supported, valued, respected, heard, understood and loved. They want to know that we are human and not spokes on a wheel that leads them nowhere. That’s all. That’s it. It’s about them, not me,” Steele wrote on his Linkedin profile.

He does not work directly with students.

“CUNY strives to provide an appropriate learning environment for all of its students. This post was brought to our attention, subsequently removed and appropriate action is now being taken. For reasons of principle, we do not comment on personnel matters,” said Joseph Tirella, spokesman for the university. CUNY program director tweets photo in classroom without pants


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