Teacher responds to Christmas party pictures

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

STRAWBERRY, AR (KAIT) – Parents Monday told Region 8 News they were concerned over the purported actions of Hillcrest High School's English teacher Kim Sexton. Superintendent Greg Crabtree said Tuesday the district will not publicly comment on personnel matters.

A concerned viewer anonymously mailed Region 8 News copies of four photographs showing what appeared to be a high school Christmas party.

The photos were apparently posted on a student's Facebook page in a photo album labeled "Sen10r Year."

One of the pictures shows a male student wearing women's lingerie.

The photograph is labeled as a "gag gift."

Another photo features Sexton holding a box of condoms and personal lubricant.

She's also photographed holding a bottle of energy drink.

A fourth picture depicts a female student holding a bottle energy drink, along with a tube of lotion and an Easy Rider magazine.

The magazine cover advertises "naked women" and a special DVD inside.

On Monday, Region 8 News tried to contact Superintendent Greg Crabtree about the pictures. According to his secretary, the school is not offering any comment on the pictures or the circumstances behind them.

Kim Sexton released the following statement after our story aired:

In response to the story that aired on KAIT 8 at 6:00 pm:

The party was scheduled during lunch break, not during instructional time.  Students wanted to bring gag gifts and were instructed to bring class appropriate gifts.  Only four or five of the gifts were inappropriate.  I had no control over what they brought to school, nor did I have any knowledge of what was in the packages.  I did not witness any Easy Rider magazine. The picture of the student wearing lingerie was just a student being goofy, as students will do.  Any teacher can attest to this. The picture of me is merely a picture of my opening a gift which I drew by chance.  I was shocked and embarrassed.  I instructed all students to leave gifts in the classroom after the party, because I realized they could cause problems.  I also had to leave early because of a personal emergency, and some of the pictures were taken after I left.  It's a shame that the pictures of the students eating and singing together were not shown.  Only fifteen or twenty minutes of the party was spent on gifts.  The majority of the time was spent just being together as a class.  However, it seems that one negative incident is brought to the forefront to ruin an entire day.  The whole thing has been blown out of proportion, and it seems as though there are other things that are far more news worthy than a senior Christmas party gone a bit awry.

Kim Sexton

According to the Arkansas Department of Education, school districts handle all personnel matters unless a formal complaint is submitted to the Board of Education.

Region 8 News will continue to track this story and bring you any updates as they become available.

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