Mindi Jensen is a teacher at North Sanpete Middle School in Moroni, Utah; but outside of the classroom, she’s a fitness model and competitor. Social media posts of her working out and wearing bikinis made their way into a student's hands, and someone complained about the images to school officials, Fox 13 Now reports.
At first, Jensen agreed to make the photos private.
“Then I thought, 'Why am I taking this picture off?'” she said. “I get comments and messages that it's inspirational to them, and that these women like my story, and they're following my story, and if I put it to private then it's not going to reach these people that might need and understand me.”
Jensen told ABC 4 Utah that she uses an alias online and that her fitness is important to her. She added that she was depressed at one point and dropped to 100 pounds before deciding to make a change.
“I’m new here, I’m divorced. I’m doing this all for the first time,” she said.
“I get women, single woman, single mommas that message me, even on Instagram they will message me and tell me that what they read and what they see that I’m doing has inspired them to be healthier, has inspired them to leave a bad situation, to build strength," she added.
Still, her motivation didn’t stop others from complaining.
“These kids found it and the parents were appalled by the pictures they called it immodest," Jensen said. "They called it pornographic. They called the pictures inappropriate and these are my fitness and show pictures in my sport, in my uniform in my bodybuilding sport."
On Oct. 20, Jensen was told she could either make the photos private, remove them, or be fired.
"Why are my rights being taken away and not the child’s right. It's between the parent and the child. Put restrictions on your children,” she said. “If you are not comfortable with seeing me in my fitness uniform on stage posing then take that away from your kid. Don’t take it away from me.”
Despite the alleged ultimatum, Jensen’s job is reportedly safe. The principal contacted her after a school board meeting and said she would not be fired and that her photos can remain public.
"The district has cleared up any misconceptions with employees,” read a statement from North Sanpete School District Superintendent Dr. Sam Ray. The school district will also teach parents about appropriate internet usage.