Authorities in the United Kingdom fired a 41-year-old teacher.
They banned her from teaching indefinitely after she had allowed her students as young as 15 to take sexually inappropriate images of themselves for a class project.
The Teaching Regulation Agency decided that Emma Wright’s class violated safety standards and ruled that banning and firing the teacher was necessary “to maintain public confidence in the profession,” The Daily Mail reported.
The agency learned of Wright’s actions in 2018 after the head of art and design at Huxlow Science College in Northamptonshire, England, came across student art portfolios belonging to some of Wright’s students.
Those portfolios contained the lewd images, The Daily Mail reported.
Speaking to a TRA panel, Wright revealed that she had introduced her students to an artist who worked on “suggestive pictures,” according to The Daily Mail.
The regulatory agency learned that without informing her superiors or her students’ parents, Wright had invited a photographer specializing in “suggestive poses” to speak with students, The Sun reported.
However, Wright told the TRA panel that she had informed her students that her introduction of the photographer did not mean that they should create works similar to those of the photographer for their schoolwork, The Daily Mail reported.
“Mrs. Wright informed the panel that she had told the pupils that she did not expect them to be naked, but to use their arm, face or something. During her evidence, Mrs. Wright stated that art is a process,” the TRA report on Wright’s case stated, according to the Mail.
Subsequently, a few of her students took images topless, dressed only in their underwear, with cigarettes and liquor bottles in their hands while bottles and cans covered their breasts, The Sun reported.
“On balance, the panel determined that Mrs. Wright would have seen the photographs that had been produced by the pupils before the final artwork had been produced,” the report said, the Daily Mail reported.
“Whilst the panel was satisfied that there was a low risk of repetition, it did not find that Mrs. Wright had fully reflected on the safeguarding implications of allowing pupils to take photographs of themselves or others in a state of undress,” TRA decision-maker Alan Meyrick stated, according to the newspaper.
“The risk of harm, due to the lack of safeguarding pupils, was a significant factor in forming that opinion.
“In my view, it is necessary to impose a prohibition order in order to maintain public confidence in the profession,” Meyrick said.
Wright can no longer teach in all of England. She may not appeal her teaching ban until 2024.
The fired teacher believes she is a victim of injustice. “I feel there is a deep injustice about it, but I am not going to appeal because I no longer wish to teach,” Wright told The Sun.
“I have written to my MP, the union and the Education Minister regarding this. I am a good person. I am not the person they are making out to be. I really feel very strongly about it. I am really quite upset about it. It is a position I never thought I would be in.”
“Those students were wonderful students. I have no bad feelings towards those students at all,” Wright said.
“I am hoping the local community are as shocked as I am, and as sad and angry. They know me. I have taught in that school for a long time,” the former teacher added.
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