Laura Lester’s daughter was sitting in her first-hour biology class when something clearly not in the curriculum popped up from an overhead projector.
It was a pornographic image, reportedly originating from her teacher’s laptop, according to KCTV-TV in Kansas City, Kansas.
A snapshot taken by Lester’s daughter, a freshman at J.C. Harmon High School, shows the laptop and projector and — farthest in the background — an image of a naked woman, reportedly from a website.
That photo sparked a series of events that resulted in something else equally shocking to parents: The girl and her boyfriend to whom she sent the photo — both honor-roll students — were suspended for two days.
And for what?
“For inappropriate use of electronics,” Laura Lester told KCTV. “I have no idea [what that's supposed to mean]. I tried to run it through my mind and understand. She was on her own cellphone.”
Lester said her daughter sent the photo to her boyfriend and asked him what to do. Then he sent the photo to a friend — who then reportedly posted it to his Facebook page.
That day, the girl and her boyfriend were twice pulled from class and then suspended.
“I believe my son got in trouble because the school was trying to hide something,” Karen Winkel, the mother of the boyfriend, told KCTV.
Oh, and the teacher in question? He’s been employed with Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools since 2002, KCTV reported, adding that the district said it’s their policy to place an employee on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
That’s about all these two furious mothers know.
“When she came home from school she was crying her eyes out, unable to speak about what had happened,” Lester told KCTV. “It was very upsetting that this is happening when our kids are in school, when they are supposed to be learning.”
“I know my daughter was very uncomfortable,” Lester added.
Lester and Winkel said they tried talking to school administrators about appealing the decision, as they don’t want their suspensions on their permanent records.
“That’s the most upsetting, that she’s looking into colleges and looking at a bright future and this is going to follow her, what this teacher did,” Lester told KCTV.
Receiving no answers from the school, the parents consulted an attorney. But under Kansas law, they have no substantive recourse on reversing the suspension. They agreed to waive their children’s privacy rights with the school, but still officials wouldn’t talk to KCTV — they did, however, indicate they’d be willing to sit down with the parents again.