The Herald Bulletin

October 18, 2012

Photo subject wasn’t topless, APD reports

Student suspension still applies; teacher cleared

By Stephen Dick
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — The tale of a reported topless teacher whose photo popped up on an Apple iPad tablet computer at Highland Middle School took a surprising turn on Thursday: The photo was not of a topless woman but apparently one whose head could not be seen.

In a press release, Anderson Police Detective Joel Sandefur said the digital photograph found by seventh-graders on a school-issued iPad was not of a topless woman and the person depicted in the photo was partially clad and seen from the neck down.

When asked to further describe the photo, Sandefur declined.

Late in the afternoon, Charles Rubright, legal counsel for Anderson Community Schools, released a statement describing the picture in question as not involving a topless woman, not a nude picture nor any pornographic material. Beth Clark, assistant superintendent at ACS, declined to describe the photo.

She did say that the discipline the four boys faced still stands, not because of the nature of the photo but because they broke school rules. Clark didn’t specify which rules were violated. She added that the teacher did nothing wrong and faces no discipline.

The incident occurred Monday when four boys were allowed to access the teacher’s iPad and discovered the photo. According to the ACS press release, “A teacher gave certain students access to a school-owned IPad, which had been assigned to her, for a precise purpose of working within two different applications. The students explored the IPad and went to unauthorized applications, one of which was IPhotos. Unbeknownst to the teacher, a picture which was on the teacher’s personal cell phone had been stored in ICloud and therefore streamed to her school-owned IPad.”

On Wednesday, Nicole Troutt, whose son Joshua Troutt faces expulsion, said the boys viewed a photo of a topless teacher, and the parent wondered why such a photo could have been available.

Messages were left for Nicole Troutt on Thursday, but she did not respond.

Sandefur said APD officers are assigned to the school and investigated the incident, but no answers were given as to why the police investigated or what prompted their investigation.

In his press release, Sandefur wrote, “The investigating officer described the image as being from the neck down, with partial exposure. The Anderson police discussed the matter with members of the Madison County Prosecutor’s office. Since the material was not pornographic in nature and no other criminal violation could be gleaned from the evidence as presented, the matter was turned over to the school and the police investigation closed.”

Clark said iPads are new for teachers this year, and Monday’s incident will cause ACS to establish stricter protocols in connection with students having access to school-owned computers and the capability of those devices to connect to personally-owned Apple products.

Contact Steve Dick: 640-4863, steve.dick@heraldbulletin.com