Karen Hutchinson admits she failed to maintain professional boundaries after lending a couple girls her own camera, then letting them take their photos inside a pantry in the classroom at Priory City of Lincoln Academy. According to the Sun, she then locked the door behind them to protect their privacy. Hutchinson downloaded the images from the camera later followed by circumventing the school’s servers. The servers are monitored by IT staff. Then the photos were sent to the students using 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,” said head teacher Richard Trow.
The topless photos shot by the student were included in her personal portfolio for reference material to be used in an abstract painting assignment. The Sun originally reported that students and external reviewers viewed the photos, but Richard Trow later said that no one except for the teachers and the students involved saw them until school authorities had been made aware of this 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,” Richard Trow says in his statement. “Her actions were a serious breach of our safeguarding, e-safety and ICT policies.”
Following the incident, Hutchinson was ordered to attend a misconduct hearing in Coventry, England, the same city the school is located in. A third-party teaching regulation agency moderated it that governs U.K. teacher’s behavior. Hutchinson was scolded by authorities at the hearing for facilitating the nude photo shoot. It was called a violation of the school’s pledge called the Priory Contract, along with being a serious lapse in judgement. The Priory Contract is signed by parents, teachers, and students. In the third line of the pledge it says, “I will ensure that students wear their uniform appropriately at all times.” The art project was seen as disturbing child pornography.
Action was taken by the school as Hutchinson was immediately suspended from teaching at the high school, as protocol. Authorities made the decision to fire her after the investigation was finished.
“I have to abandon the gift I was given — teaching others.” Hutchinson said according to the Sun. On Monday, Hutchinson changed her Facebook profile photo, it reads, “I realized I can trust myself. I’ve survived so much and I will survive.” Hutchinson is “not prepared to release information regarding the situation” she said.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.