indpendence high

An Independence High School teacher was suspended last week after a student reported he had allegedly shown an inappropriate photo to his class.

Keith Steffens, who has taught Information Technology and other subjects for WCS since 2004 and runs Mobile Eyes Photography, was suspended on Feb. 6 without pay when Williamson County Schools notified him via letter that they were investigating “inappropriate behavior including but not limited to showing a picture of a female with her breasts exposed to one of your classes.”

Steffens resigned the next day.

Keith Steffens

However, it may have been a bikini, not a topless, photo and an accident.

Unconfirmed by Steffens and Williamson County Schools, on Facebook, numerous parents of Independence students have said that they were told by their kids that the picture was of a woman in a bikini who was a client of Steffens’ photography business. Allegedly, Steffens showed the picture on the projector screen to a class by mistake. A student then reported to the administration that he was showing the class graphic photos.

One of those parents, Handel Arango, whose son goes to Independence, told us that the story among students at the school was that this is all due to “bikini pictures from his photography business, accidentally shown over the projector screen.”

Again, however, this is unconfirmed information. WCS has not returned requests for comment, confirmation or clarification and Steffens has no comment.

Williamson County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney wrote the suspension letter, which said in part:

“This suspension will be in effect until the completion of the investigation into allegations that you violated [board policy] and engaged in inappropriate behavior including but not limited to showing a picture of a female with her breasts exposed to one of your classes,” Looney wrote.

Steffens photography was the subject of a laudatory article on IndyNow, the school’s newspaper, in the fall.

“Steffens was published in a teen fashion magazine for his photographs, groups of semi-professional photographers on social media, where he won the distinctions of pictures of the day, week, and month,” the October 26 article reads. “Steffens goal is to have his own studio, full of ‘fashion portraits,’ and to become a semi-professional photographer. And he is already on an amazing start to that goal.”

A look through Steffens’ portfolio (linked above) shows everything from senior photos to weddings to glamour portraits to children’s birthdays.

Steffens has a degree in Computer Networking Technology from Strayer University.