Elementary School Tells Teacher Fired After Showing Nude Art That He Can Reapply

Rob Shimshock | Education Reporter

An elementary school teacher fired after showing nude art to students will be allowed to reapply for positions, according to a Thursday statement.

Cache County School District in North Logan, Utah, will allow Mateo Rueda to apply for any position at the district “without any negative impact from the events leading to his past departure,” according to a statement jointly issued by the district and former art teacher. The district declined to reinstate the teacher at Lincoln Elementary School and Rueda has said he will not be returning.

“Because simply reinstating Mr. Rueda to his position as the art teacher may be disruptive to the students and educators involved, the parties simply agree that Mr. Rueda may reapply to any position within the Cache County School District, and do so without any negative impact from the events leading to his past departure,” read the statement. “By agreement with Mr. Rueda, the Cache County School District will be reevaluating its art materials and policies.”

The teacher claimed ignorance of nude artwork among postcards he handed out during class, reported Fox News. Students saw images of the Impressionist-era work “Iris Tree” by Amedeo Modigliani and the Rococo-influenced “Odalisque” by Francois Boucher.

“Mr. Mateo explained to us that there might be some pictures that we’ll find uncomfortable,” Bella Jensen, a fifth-grade student at Lincoln Elementary, told Fox13. “There were some pictures that were a little weird, and most kids were laughing.”

Rueda tried to explain to students the pictures were art. He also encouraged students to discuss them with parents, some of whom later complained. One parent allegedly called the police.

“My name is clean and I will still be a professional educator,” said Rueda in a separate statement Thursday. “It has been a distressing month for me and my family. Extremely interesting and saddening all at once.”

“I have to say, I will miss the children from the school, I know also they do [sic], but I also know each one of their unique characters will remember me….Let this be an example that we can create consciousness in this [sic] narrow minded societies,” he added.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Rueda and the school district for further comment, but received none in time for press.

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