Video: Schools chief defends risque photo

updated 9/3/2006 3:13:19 PM ET 2006-09-03T19:13:19

A superintendent who posed as a nearly naked “Mr. August” in a charity calendar is rebuffing critics who say it amounts to soft-core pornography.

Roger Schmiedeskamp, superintendent of the Manning school district, joined other men, including bankers and insurance salesmen, in appearing in a 2007 calendar that will be sold to raise money for the local Rotary Club. The men appear partially disrobed in a spoof of the 2003 movie “Calendar Girls,” in which 12 women appear naked to raise money for a hospital.

In the Manning calendar, Schmiedeskamp’s image is superimposed in an old schoolhouse room in front of a chalkboard and behind a desk. He is shirtless and his legs are bare under the desk, creating the image that is naked in an empty classroom.

“When I saw it I was so angry at the setting,” said Kathy Swanson, a parent and grandparent of students in the school district. “A kid is supposed to be safe in the classroom. This does not portray safe. It’s sickening.”

Brian Irlbeck, Manning school board president, said the board supports Schmiedeskamp. Schmiedeskamp said he appeared in the calendar only to raise money for the Rotarians.

“I didn’t see anything that was inappropriate about it,” said Schmiedeskamp, who wore a swimsuit during the photo shoot. “I think it’s a worthwhile cause to raise some money to help the community.”

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