Parent finds nude picture of her kid's principal on the web, hysteria ensues

Filed under: Day Care & Education

Mark Classen, a school principle in the Canadian resort town of Harrison Hot Springs, has been suspended from his job after a teacher found a nude photo of him on the internet.

It wasn't on a gay site. It didn't even show his penis. But Classen has been suspended anyway. Classen made the mistake of sending a parent at his school an e-mail from his personal account, which included a link to his personal site in the signature line. The parent followed the link, after trolling through hundreds of pictures that were on Classen's personal site. "She was ecstatic about the other pictures, how wonderful they were," said School district chairman Jim Sinclair, who then heard from the parent. But when she found the one photo that showed Classen in the nude, she became irate. Apparently someone then sent the photo to the local news media, and the incident blew up from there.

The photo was taken 15 years ago, when Classen and his wife visited a nude beach in Australia. Classen's face is not visible in the photo, nor is his penis obvious in the photograph. All you can tell is that it is a naked man. Still, Classen may lose his job over what seems like a stupid, but largely harmless, mistake. The school district has asked Classen to turn over his home computer to school officials so they can see if there is any other potentially offensive material on it. Classen, on the advice of an attorney, has rightly refused. Sinclair says some parents are angry, citing a "faction in the school that at the meeting on Monday night accused him of being a pedophile and a pervert and a few other names. It's hysteria."

So ridiculous. I hope Classen gets his job back as soon as possible, and an apology from everyone who put him through this. Even if the picture had showed him as a naked-cage dancer in a gay bar, if he's a good principal (and by all accounts he's a great principal) what should it matter?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.