Former NZ teacher struck off for Penthouse picture
A former Auckland teacher has been deregistered after posing nude in a pornographic magazine.
Rachel Whitwell was investigated by the New Zealand Teachers Council (NZTC) after a member of the public complained her actions had brought the profession into disrepute.
Ms Whitwell was featured in the New Zealand and Australian editions of Penthouse in "various states of undress, including totally naked".
One picture showed her d****d over an old fashioned school desk.
The magazine quoted Ms Whitwell as saying: "I am submissive in the bedroom because during the day I have to be in control in the classroom."
In submissions to NZTC's complaints assessment committee, Ms Whitwell said Penthouse was a lawful publication and she had done nothing i*****l.
She said she was not working as teacher when she posed for the photographs.
"I simply modelled for some photographs in my role as a model, not as a teacher.
"Even if I was teaching I do not believe that you or the NZTC has any right to impose Victorian moral opinions on my life outside the classroom."
NZTC found Ms Whitwell's actions constituted serious misconduct, reflecting badly on her fitness to be a teacher and the profession as a whole.
It ordered she be deregistered and pay costs associated with the disciplinary process.
Ms Whitwell today said she had no idea the magazine would highlight her work as a teacher.
"I take on a lot of different modelling assignment, this was one of them. I'm not the editor of that magazine, I didn't decide to put that content in," she told Radio New Zealand.
"I gave up being a teacher about a year ago to pursue another occupation, which is modelling."
Ms Whitwell said she was not interviewed by the magazine and the article's quotes were the product of "editorial licence".
She plans to appeal NZTC's decision.
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