The Herald Bulletin

October 17, 2012

Mother: Highland students face expulsion after viewing topless photo of teacher

Teacher had picture on school-issued iPad

By Stephen Dick
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Three Highland Middle School students face expulsion after viewing a topless photo of one of their female teachers on the teacher’s school-issued Apple iPad during class Tuesday, according to Nicole Troutt, the mother of one of the boys.

Contacted Wednesday, Nancy Farley, principal of Highland Middle School, and Beth Clark, assistant superintendent at Anderson Community Schools, told The Herald Bulletin they would not discuss the issue. Clark said that the incident was a personnel and student matter and that ACS officials would not comment.

According to Troutt, the boys were given the iPad by the teacher, whose name was not released by ACS. The teacher told the boys they could browse around on it. The boy who was operating the iPad, not Troutt’s son, came across the topless photo of the teacher.

“The picture showed up of the teacher topless,” Joshua Troutt, 13, told television station WRTV. The boy added that one of the students pressed a button and the topless picture popped up.

“It’s not our fault that she had the photo put there,” Joshua Troutt said. “Her iPhone synced to it. She had to have pressed something to make all of her photos sync on there.”

Upon discovering this, said Nicole Troutt, the teacher grew irate and called the police.

No arrests were made, according to Troutt. Detective Joel Sandefur of the Anderson Police Department was working on a press release about the incident, but sent an email Wednesday evening saying the information would not be released until today.

According to WRTV, the teacher is still on the staff, but Nicole Troutt would like to see that change.

“In all reality, you’d think she’d be fired,” she said. “That’s a nude picture in the school that the students saw.”

Two of the boys were suspended, and Troutt said she couldn’t understand why one of the boys was not. Her son was given a choice of being suspended for five days and then put on probation, which meant he would go to school from 7:30 to 10:25 a.m. each day. Or her son could be expelled for the semester.

“My son never touched the iPad,” Troutt said. “I don’t see why he’s being punished.”

Troutt said the school gave two explanations for the punishment. At first they said the boys accessed the Internet. Then the school, according to Troutt, said that the boys were able to bring the iPad and the teacher’s iPhone in sync, with the photo actually being on the iPhone.

Troutt said she didn’t know what decision she would make concerning her son’s punishment, adding that he had been doing better in school.

“I had him a tutor every day,” she said. “He doesn’t need to be absent from school.” On Wednesday, Troutt said her son was over at a friend’s workshop.

Troutt said she’s considering having her son take classes over the Internet. She said she wouldn’t be able to pick him up at 10:25 a.m. each day, so he probably won’t be going back to Highland.

“This is so crazy to me. It makes no sense,” said Troutt. “The school is trying to cover it up. (The teacher) should’ve left it alone and nothing would’ve happened.”