Headmaster fired after Facebook pic scandal
David Landes · 18 Jun 2009, 12:02
Published: 18 Jun 2009 12:02 GMT+02:00
Anders Karlsson served as principal of Norrlands Entreprenörsgymnasium, an independent school associated with a public sector business development organization in Luleå.
The 53-year-old Karlsson is also well-known within the town’s business community and taught courses at the school on religion and entrepreneurship.
But Karlsson was also active on the Facebook social networking site, where he chose to post pictures of himself in sexually suggestive poses and was a member of groups with names like “Multiple orgasms”, “Vi som är sexgalna” (‘Sex maniacs like us’), and “All sexy bikinis 4U”.
The revelations came to light on Monday on the nyheter24.se news website, resulting in an emergency meeting of the school's board on Tuesday.
The fact that the school’s top official and most prominent public face freely associated with at least one Facebook group that featured links to pornographic websites and had published compromising pictures of himself which could be seen by students, didn't sit well with the board.
Following an internal investigation, the board decided to ask for Karlsson’s resignation, saying he had “had a lapse in judgment”.
“Karlsson’s views on what someone is allowed to do as a private individual differ from the opinion of the board,” the school’s CEO Majvor Müller said in a statement.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday Müller emphasized that Karlsson hadn’t broken any laws.
“But he is the students’ ambassador and a role model. There’s a moral and ethical limit when someone works with young people,” the Norrländska Socialdemokraten newspaper reported her as saying.
Karlsson claimed he was the victim of a smear campaign by nyheter24.se
“They’re spreading obvious lies and I’ve become a victim of moral panic,” he told Norrländska Socialdemokraten, adding that he has reported the news website to the police for libel.
“I can say that my life has been destroyed and I’ve been deeply violated. The border protecting the sanctity of one’s private life has been grossly overstepped.”
Karlsson added that he didn’t think he’d done anything wrong, nor did he feel there was any shame in speaking openly about sex.
“I think sex is a natural and joyous part of life and don’t see any reason to try to hide that,” he said.
“Unfortunately, it seems to be unacceptable for a principal to have a normal, healthy sex life.”