By: Kyle James | 12-30-2017 | News
Photo credit: Fox 13

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A teacher in Utah has been fired after showing students images of classic art, some of which contained nude people. The teacher was fired amid complaints that the classical paintings showed nudity that was seen by sixth-graders.

<img src="" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">

<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: FOX 13</span>

Mateo Rueda is the teacher in question and he says he wasn't aware of the set of educational postcards from the elementary school library contained a few images depicting nudes when he handed them out during a lesson.

Rueda says he removed the cards when they made students uncomfortable. "This is not material at all that I would use. I had no idea," he said. Rueda has requested a hearing and plans to appeal his termination and clear his reputation.

A few days after the incident with the postcards, police showed up to Lincoln Elementary School in Hyrum near Salt Lake City to investigate a complaint that Rueda showed pornography to students.

Cache County deputies found Principal Jeni Buist was shredding the postcards at the school district's request. Sheriff Chad Jensen said deputies showed the images to prosecutors who decided they were not pornography.

The Cache County School District would not comment on the incident other than to say it was a personal matter. The images in question are an Impressionist-era portrait “Iris Tree” by Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani and the Rococo-style partial nude “Odalisque” by 18th-century artist Francois Boucher.

One parent named Venessa Rose Pixton is upset because she feels Rueda's handling of the situation belittled students including her 11-year-old son who was apparently offended when Rueda said, "He said Mr. Mateo even told the class 'There's nothing wrong with female nipples. You guys need to grow up and be mature about this."

Rueda denies saying that and his version is he simply explained the human body is often portrayed in art in museums. Some parents and students defended Rueda. Kamee Jensen said "She was just very upset that her teacher was in trouble," she said.

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: Seated nude by Amedeo Modigliani</span>

A similar painting as the ones in the postcards done by the same artist.

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