AUSTIN, Texas — A high school art teacher who faced termination after students saw her nude photos online has agreed to resign.
Tamara Hoover had been on paid leave since May, when students saw the photos on Flickr.com and showed them to another art teacher at Austin High School. That teacher, who was feuding with Hoover over ceramics equipment, notified administrators, according to sworn affidavits.
The photos were posted by Hoover’s partner and depicted her in the shower, getting dressed and doing other routine activities.
Hoover said the district was focusing on eight pictures among hundreds that were posted, and she defended them as art. The school district said the photos were inappropriate and violated the “higher moral standard” expected of teachers.
Hoover, who had been scheduled to argue her case in a termination hearing next week, submitted her letter of resignation Wednesday. Pending school board approval, she will receive several months’ salary totaling $14,850 under an agreement with the school district.
She said she had wanted to keep teaching but now will pursue a master’s degree and teach at the university level.
“I don’t think this is the most ideal outcome,” she said.
In a statement released Thursday, the district said it “believes strongly in an individual’s right of free expression, but as we all know, such rights are not absolute.”
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