Mom finds nude pix of principal on Internet
A school principal in the resort town of Harrison Hot Springs suspended after a nude photo of him was found on his family website is being asked to turn over his personal computer for inspection.
Mark Classen was suspended with pay last week by the Fraser-Cascade School District in the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver while it looks into a complaint from a parent who stumbled on the photo.
School district chairman Jim Sinclair said Classen has been asked to turn over his home computer to school officials to see if there is any other potentially offensive material on it.
“The legal advice we have at the moment is we need to be sure there’s nothing else on this computer,” he said in an interview Thursday. “We’ve asked him to allow us to have a forensic look at his computer.”
The B.C. Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association, which is representing Classen, has advised him not to hand it over, Sinclair said.
He said Classen will not be allowed back into the school “until we are satisfied there is nothing else there that we should be afraid of.”
A spokesman for the association wouldn’t discuss the specifics of the case, citing confidentiality.
Officials are demanding the computer even though Sinclair concedes the photo appears innocent and there’s no evidence Classen is any danger to children.
“I think at this point what we have is a stupid, stupid mistake by the guy,” he said. “But other than that there’s nothing criminal, no indication that children are at risk with this man.”
The indistinct photo is 15 years old, apparently taken several years ago when Classen and his wife visited a nude beach in Australia, said Elan Nootebos, president of Harrison’s parent advisory council, who has seen the picture.