Society

Parents Pull Children Out Of School After Principal's Racy Photo Is Made Public

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Alleged misconduct unbecoming of a school principal has caused parents to withdraw their children from their local school.

It all began when Crestomere School principal Penny Mueller posed in a photo with a fellow teacher where fellatio was being simulated against the phallic-shaped Washington Monument, reports the National Post.

Mueller and the teacher were in Washington D.C. for a taxpayer-funded conference.

The photo was posted to Facebook by the teacher, not Mueller.

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An investigation into the matter following complaints found insufficient evidence against Mueller to warrant a disciplinary hearing.

“It was a private photo,” Alberta Teacher’s Association (ATA) executive secretary Gordon Thomas said.  “The principal didn’t post it.”

The teacher who did post the photo to Facebook was reprimanded and fined $500 by the ATA after parents and former students saw the picture.

Parent Lori Turner pulled her children out of the school after Mueller criticized her in a private meeting over the photo with senior officials at the Wolf Creek School Division.

“She asked me if I had never been young and stupid once, and I said ‘sure,’ but never when my career was guiding and mentoring children,” Turner said.

The problems did not stop after the lewd photo for Mueller.

Another parent, Barb Neilson, has removed her children from the school following the posting of crude jokes to Mueller’s Pinterest account, reports the Daily Mail.

One repost on Mueller’s account shows a drawing of two women playing squash while wearing tight clothing.

The caption to the drawing read: “Shorts: if it looks like your vagina is trying to eat them, they’re not for you.”

Another posted image shows a teenage girl sitting in front of a Christmas tree holding a sanitary napkin with a human eye drawn on the top.

The superimposed caption reads: “Thanks Dad for the iPad.”

Neilson believes a principal should be “a strong female role model rather than posting distasteful and offensive comments online.”

The ATA was given a printout by Neilson of the racy Pinterest posts, but whether action will be taken on the matter appears unlikely.

“(The officer) said it was not ideal she was posting those sort of things, but it was nothing warranting an investigation,” Neilson said.  “Her recommendation was I withdraw my complaint because it wasn’t going anywhere.”

Principal Mueller responded to the misconduct allegations during a telephone interview.

“I have not done anything unprofessional,” Mueller said. “I think the media, including yourself, need to be aware about how the general public or parents go out of their way to destroy or cause grief in educators’ lives.”