Oxford Hills football coach resigns over nude Facebook photo

OXFORD — Oxford Hills high school varsity football coach Paul Withee said Monday he was embarrassed and humiliated by a mistake he said has probably cost him his career.

Sun Media Wire file photo

Paul Withee

Amber Waterman, Sun Journal file photo 2011

Former Oxford Hills football coach Paul Withee gestures while on the sidelines of a game in September, 2011. Withee has resigned from the school after accidentally posting a nude photo of himself on the social media website, Facebook, over the weekend. The photo was only up for about 30 minutes before the mistake was uncovered and no students are reported to have seen the photo.

Withee resigned Monday morning after school officials received a complaint from a parent that he posted a nude picture of himself on Facebook.

“I'm embarrassed, I'm ashamed, I'm humiliated,” Withee said Monday. He said the picture was on the social media page for no more than a half-hour when he discovered what had happened and tried to correct it.

“I've never done anything like this before and I never will again,” he said.

“You have to be careful with what you do with social media. You can get yourself into a lot of trouble and something you love can be taken away from you just like this,” he said.

School Superintendent Rick Colpitts said he met with Withee on Monday morning and accepted his resignation.

“He has chosen to resign for personal reasons. He is no longer employed with us,” Colpitts said.

Withee also taught mathematics and science at Oxford Hills Middle School in Paris. A substitute has taken over his classes.

Colpitts confirmed reports that Withee posted a nude picture of himself on his Facebook page last week. It was intended to be seen by a personal friend but instead was inadvertently posted publicly, he said.

A parent in the district discovered the picture and notified school officials on Feb. 7. Withee was immediately placed on paid leave, which is the normal procedure, while the district began an investigation.

Withee, who coached three championship teams during his 19 years as football coach at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, was named varsity football coach at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris in March 2011.

Colpitts said as far as he is aware, only the parent saw the picture, which Withee immediately took down as soon as he discovered the mistake.

Under school district policy, teachers are allowed to “friend” students on Facebook, but as far as he could tell, Colpitts said Withee had no Oxford Hills School District students as “friends” on his page.

He said teachers are encouraged to develop appropriate teacher-student relationships with their students using social media like Facebook for school-related purposes.

Withee, of Norway, said his Facebook page was personal and he has no students as "friends" on it.

The school has three policies in place relating to the use of the Internet and each new hire is thoroughly versed in what they can and cannot do in regards to the Internet and their academic position.

Colpitts said principals at the middle and high school were expected to address the situation with their staff Monday.

Colpitts said Withee did not do anything illegal. He simply made a mistake.

“There was never any malicious intent. It (the picture) was never intended for the public. He tried to correct it. I feel badly for him. I wish him well,” Colpitts said.

At least one parent, on the other hand, disagreed with classifying the action as a mistake. The woman, who asked that her name not be used, said she and her family were extremely disappointed in Withee's actions.

The woman said her son played football for Withee and looked up to the coach. She said Withee's actions last week completely changed her perspective of him as a coach and mentor and left her feeling let down as a parent.

Staff writer Andie Hannon contributed to this story.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Kim Waite's picture

I feel sorry for this man.

How embarrassing for him! :(

Sad story what gets me is why they have to plaster over News !

I think he learned his lesson through facebook,and his career sorry to see they have to share it even more than facebook would have.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Oxford Hills football coach resigns over nude Facebook photo

all , Valentine's Day ?
omg - he didn't , did he ? What's in the water up they'ya ?
" Here's your sign . ." http://www.billengvall.com/ <-- amazing resemblance ¿
i feel sorry for the guy . Here in Hawai'i we might just laugh it off but it shows a lack of . .hmm . .whatever . Live and learn . You are most likely an okay guy , Paul , and i think we could be friends . Dang . Hate when that happens /s, Steve

 's picture

Why

Why did he resign for doing NOTHING illegal? Ridiculous.

Are we so politically correct now that an adult who accidentally post a nude photo intended for another consenting adult be required to resign? it was up for about 10 whole minutes ... BIG DEAL.

If I were you people I would send your children to private schools because this an example of the current stupidity allowed in today's modern public schools.

Would this still apply if adults used an adult website made for adults to post nudes of themselves and you needed to be 18 to view them? They would still probably fire him if he were married and he and his wife did it.

This is just horsecrap really.

I wonder how many teachers promote getting drunk on their Facebook pages by mentioning about partying with their brother or relative? I suppose "anything" is grounds for job dismissal these days. if I were him I would file a lawsuit against the school if they forced him to resign or be fired.

Why the hell are Americans so uptight about nudity anyway? The rest of the world has nude beaches and topless beaches with children playing on them etc. If you've ever wondered why the rest of the world laughs at us articles like this are why.

 's picture

do you really think this

do you really think this shows sound judgement? It is not something a good role model would do. How would you feel if some of his underage students thought if it is ok for the coach then it is ok for them? not cool.

 's picture

A agree with you....

....100 percent. I do wonder, however, as to how much time during the day that parent is on Facebook and why.

 's picture

Also as a PS - What if he had

Also as a PS - What if he had a part time job as a nude model or was a nude model for an art class? What if he and his wife if he were married posted photos of themselves on an adult private website and someone hacked it and shared the pictures around the school? he would still be asked to resign when he did nothing illegal OR FOR THAT MATTER DIDN;T DO ANYTHING WRONG.

This is ridiculous. I would sue if I were him because nothing illegal happened and it resulted in the loss of his job. Monetary damages and compensation.

 's picture

Consenting adult to adult

Consenting adult to adult photo sharing isn't illegal. It isn't even illegal to upload one by MISTAKE to his FB page. If he had done it intentionally for ALL to see including students since he knew they visited his page then yeah fire him. It was up for TEN FRIGGIN MINUTES!! As soon as it was known that it wasn;t private it was removed rather quickly.

There is a FB setting to make photos available only to yourself or someone who has been given permission to view them.

Seriously though he didn;t do anything wrong other than not make sure his photos were set as private and not public. get over it .... please.

 's picture

good career move

good career move

 's picture

Happy...

...Valentine's Day.

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