Art Teacher Fired And Police Called After He Showed Classical Paintings To Class

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An art teacher was fired and the police were called in after he showed classical paintings to his class which included some nudes.

The Utah art teacher said he was unaware the postcards he had taken from the school library had contained any nude images.

Mateo Rueda said he immediately took the cards back because some of the 11-year-old kids in his class were uncomfortable.

‘This is not material at all that I would use. I had no idea,’ Rueda told the Herald Tribune.

A few days later police were called in to Lincoln Elementary School in Hyrum, about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City, to investigate a complaint that students had been shown pornography.

Cache County deputies found Principal Jeni Buist shredding postcards — at the request of the school district — that contained nudity, said Sheriff Chad Jensen.

Deputies showed some of the images to prosecutors, who decided they were not pornography, Jenson said.

The two images seen by students were the Impressionist-era portrait “Iris Tree” by Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani and the Rococo-style partial nude “Odalisque” by 18th-century artist Francois Boucher, pictured above, the teacher said.

Parent Venessa Rose Pixton, whose 11-year-old son is in the class, said Rueda did not handle the situation well.

She said her son told her: ‘He said Mr Mateo even told the class ‘There’s nothing wrong with female nipples. You guys need to grow up and be mature about this.’

Rueda denied making that statement and said he simply explained the human body is often portrayed in art displayed in museums.

And he says he plans to appeal his termination.