This School Principal Has Parents Seeing Red Over Racy Online Photos, But How Bad Are They?

Jonathan Vankin

Penny Mueller, the principal at a Canadian elementary school, has some parents taking their kids out of the school and demanding that Mueller face discipline, all because of some slightly off-color material they found on her Facebook and Pinterest pages.

But Mueller has remained defiant, saying she did nothing wrong and the Wolf Creek School District in Alberta says that while Mueller's postings were not what they hope to see from a school administrator, they also were not worthy of all all-out investigation into the principal's conduct.

We have removed the photo (from our site) that got Mueller in hot water with parents at Crestomere School in the rural town of Lacombe, who are now angry because they believe the school board should take strong action against the principal.

While the photo was not explicit or graphic in nature, it was sexually suggestive so if you are easily offended by images of that nature, we would have asked you to please stop reading this story now.

Otherwise, well, there was probably nothing in this photo of Mueller and two fellow educators at the Washington Monument that is different from what a lot of people think — but may not say — when they first see the Washington Monument.

Because let's face it, the Washington Monument is, well....

The photo was taken in 2009 on a trip to Washingtonon the school district's dime for a professional conference. Mueller did not post the photo. Another teacher put it on her own Facebook account and was fined $500 by the Alberta Teacher's Association for the lapse in judgement.

Parent Lori Turner complained about the photo back in 2009, but when Mueller remained defiant, Turner filed a formal complaint and pulled her kids out of the school.

"She asked me if I had never been young and stupid once, " Turner recounted of her meeting with Mueller. "I said 'sure,' but never when my career was guiding and mentoring children."

"I have not done anything unprofessional," Mueller told The Calgary Herald newspaper. "I think the media, including yourself, need to be aware about how the general public or parents go out of their way to destroy or cause grief in educators' lives."

Later, another parent, Barb Neilson, checked out Mueller's Pinterest page and found a number of off-color internet "meme" images, including one featuring a drawing of two women playing squash while wearing very short short pants, with a caption reading, "Shorts: if it looks like your vagina is trying to eat them, they're not for you."

The principal, "is supposed to be a strong female role model," the mom said. "She was posting humor that was not cool at all." Neilson removed her kids from the K-9 school as well.

The school board, however, took no action. Nor did the Alberta Teacher's Association. But an ATA spokesperson said the organization would take another look at the Penny Mueller case, if Neilson wanted to submit a new complaint.