Art teacher fired for letting teen students take topless photos in classroom pantry for project

A teacher who allowed an 18-year-old student to take topless photos of a 17-year-old student as part of a project on the female form has been let go from the U.K. high school where she was head of art and design.
Karen Hutchinson has admitted that she failed to maintain professional boundaries when she lent the two girls her own camera and let them have their photo shoot inside a pantry in the classroom at Priory City of Lincoln Academy — then locked the door behind them for privacy, according to the SunHutchinson later downloaded the images from the camera and circumvented the school’s servers, which are monitored by IT staff, by sending them to the students from her own personal email account.
“[The photos] were of the torso only and were used by the student as additional reference material for their final exam piece,” head teacher Richard Trow told Yahoo Lifestyle.
The student who shot the topless photos included the work in her personal portfolio as reference material for an abstract painting assignment. It was originally reported by the Sun that external reviewers and students saw the photos, but Trow told Yahoo Lifestyle that no one besides the teacher and the students were exposed to them until school authorities were made aware of the situation.
“The academy’s senior team was alerted to the issue and within three working days had completed its initial inquiries, contacted all the relevant authorities and suspended Ms. Hutchinson, who was subsequently dismissed after a disciplinary investigation,” Trow said in a statement. “Her actions were a serious breach of our safeguarding, e-safety and ICT policies.”
Hutchinson was ordered to attend a misconduct hearing in Coventry, England, where the school is located. It was moderated by a third-party teaching regulation agency that governs teachers’ behavior in the U.K., a spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle. Authorities at the hearing scolded the teacher for facilitating the nude shoot, calling it a serious lapse in judgment as well as a violation of the school’s pledge, the Priory Contract, which is signed by teachers, students and parents. The third line of the pledge reads, “I will ensure that students wear their uniform appropriately at all times.” They likened the art project to distributing child pornography.
The school took action by immediately suspending the teacher, as is school protocol. Once the investigation was complete, authorities made the decision to dismiss her.
Hutchinson told the Sun, “I have to abandon the gift I was given — teaching others.” On Monday, she changed her Facebook profile photo to read, “I realized I can trust myself. I’ve survived so much and I will survive.” 
Powered by Blogger.