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Old 06-13-2006, 07:29 AM  
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District looks to fire Austin High art teacher

Teacher, who posted nude portraits online, can appeal decision to begin termination proceedings.

By Raven L. Hill
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Tuesday, June 13, 2006

An Austin High School art teacher who posed partially nude in photographs posted on the Web could soon be out of a job after the school board voted Monday to begin termination proceedings.

The teacher, Tamara Hoover, 29, has been on paid administrative leave since May 19 because "inappropriate material" was posted on a Web site, according to the district. A student notified school officials about the site's content, namely several portraits that show Hoover nude from the waist up.

Austin High School art teacher Tamara Hoover says the photos of her posted online are 'artistic photography,' not pornography. This photo was among those on a Flickr Web site, a site some students looked at

The district's attorney, Mel Waxler, said he could not comment, citing personnel and legal concerns.

Hoover defended her actions in a blog by saying that the pictures are not pornography but "artistic photography" and that she neither knew nor had any control over which photographs were posted by the photographer.

The school district's policies regarding employee behavior include a moral turpitude clause that prohibits "base, vile, or depraved acts that are intended to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the actor."

Hoover may appeal the board's decision, with the board making a final decision in August.

Although Hoover has declined commenting on the matter, she protested the district's decision on her blog entry dated June 9. "They are firing me for pictures of me being on a website . . . and claiming the website is pornographic," Hoover wrote. "The district isn't even asking to hear my side."

Louis Malfaro, president of Education Austin, a 4,000-member group that represents teachers and staff members, said he thought the district's handling of the matter was inappropriate.

"Teachers need to be cautious because they are held to a higher standard," he said. "However, I think it's outrageous the way Tamara has been treated, and I'm glad she has herself a good lawyer," he said. "You can walk into most art galleries in this town and see the kind of artwork that was depicted on that Web site."

The pictures hundreds of photos of Hoover posing clothed and partially nude, alone and in company were posted on a photo-sharing Web site that does not require a password.

"I never told kids to 'go see me' at the web site," she wrote.

The blog also contains Hoover's account of the events leading up to her removal:

"That morning a fellow teacher was talking poorly about me to her class. A student said, 'Well, if you really dont like Ms. Hoover, you should check out the website she is on.' . . . So she told the student to pull it up. He did so in front of a class full of students."

Hoover said the district is pursuing criminal charges and determined that she was an ineffective teacher.

"I have been recognized by the board year after year (2 weeks before May 19 board recognized me again) for outstanding achievments as an art teacher," she wrote. "A report came back from the investigation saying that I am well liked on my campus and have a good reputation of being a caring teacher who tries to help each student find their own artistic voice."

Hoover was recognized during a May 8 school board meeting after one of her students won first place in a statewide competition. Another student, who did not give a name, posted an encouraging message Hoover's personal Web page.

"You do not deserve this," the student wrote. "It was my grandma's dying wish that I did something in the arts. . . . I feel like me being in your class would've made her very happy, and I know it made me very happy."

Hoover has taught at the Central Austin school since 2000.



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Old 06-13-2006, 07:32 AM   #2
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/celestadanger/sets/294392/
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:38 AM   #3
chagrin chagrin is offline
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I don't know what to think, on one hand I'm thinking, yeah art is good and can have a great influence on some kids...and on the other hand I'm thinking, WTF is going on with teachers today?
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:40 AM   #4
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I'm sorry I posted that flickr link...she's gross. Please don't click.
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:44 AM   #5
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First, there's not anything even remotely pornagraphic about any of the photos in that gallery.

Second, that's a really rough looking 29 year-old woman.
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Dole
First, there's not anything even remotely pornagraphic about any of the photos in that gallery.

Second, that's a really rough looking 29 year-old woman.
I was thinking the exact same thing regarding her "mileage". I would have guessed her to be closer to 39 than 29.
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:51 AM   #7
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I'm sorry. I should really be banned for the day.
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:52 AM   #8
chagrin chagrin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Dole
First, there's not anything even remotely pornagraphic about any of the photos in that gallery.

Second, that's a really rough looking 29 year-old woman.

I wrote my post without even clicking the link - I prejudged, I'm so ashamed
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:54 AM   #9
4th and Long 4th and Long is offline
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Good Lord, Clayton. A warning would have been nice. Yuck.
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I'm sorry. I should really be banned for the day.
I won't go that far but at least review the photos before you drop a link.

I'm going to the bathroom and pour Clorox in my eyes now.
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Old 06-13-2006, 07:55 AM   #10
Bob Dole Bob Dole is offline
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Third, Bob Dole apparently can't spell worth a crap before he's had 6 cups of coffee.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Dole
First, there's not anything even remotely pornagraphic about any of the photos in that gallery.

Second, that's a really rough looking 29 year-old woman.
I thought she looked like a KC Chiefs Cheerleader...
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I thought she looked like a KC Chiefs Cheerleader...
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:37 AM   #13
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What a great pair of tits.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:43 AM   #14
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There are about 1,000,000 finer breasts in Austin. SHe should be fired for that alone. That reminds me, I'm going to be there soon.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:50 AM   #15
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Those photos aren't even remotely pornographic, they're obviously art. An art teacher posing for artistic photos... is going to be fired.

*sigh*

How stupid.
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