Utah teacher reaches settlement with school district over nude art controversy
HYRUM, Utah — A Utah school teacher who was fired over an art project that included nude paintings says he has reached a settlement with the Cache County School District.
Mateo Rueda stated in a blog post that he and the school district “agreed on a fair settlement of mutual satisfaction. I won’t be teaching at Lincoln Elementary anymore for it would be too disruptive. My name is clean and I will still be a professional educator.”
Rueda stated the last month has been “distressing” for him and his family. He states he will miss the children at the school. He also thanked those who supported him after the firing.
“Thank you my friends from Cache Valley for bringing this situation to the light of the rational thinking progressive world,” Rueda wrote. “Let this be an example that we can create consciousness in this narrow minded societies.”
Rueda was fired after he used some post cards in an art exercise, and those post cards featured famous works of art that included several nude paintings. The post cards were available in the school’s library and were purchased by the school district.
Cache County School District released this statement regarding the settlement Thursday:
“The Cache County School District and Mateo Rueda are strong supporters of the arts and how they enrich the lives of students. The top priority and greatest concern of both the District and Mr. Rueda is that children receive the best education possible. The conflict between the district and Mr. Rueda has now been resolved in a manner that is satisfactory to both parties, and the Cache County School District has now withdrawn any indication that Mr. Rueda was terminated from his employment. However, because simply reinstating Mr. Rueda to his position as the art teacher may be disruptive to the students and educators involved, the parties simply agree that Mr. Rueda may reapply to any position within the Cache County School District, and do so without any negative impact from the events leading to his past departure. By agreement with Mr. Rueda, the Cache County School District will be reevaluating its art materials and policies.”