Topless teacher on Penthouse website
A primary school teacher who appeared naked on Australian Penthouse's website is being investigated by the New Zealand Teachers Council.
Rachel Whitwell, girlfriend of pornographer Steve Crow, is featured in six saucy photos, including two totally nude shots and two topless poses, on australianpenthouse.com.au.
The 27-year-old boasts of what she does for a living and that she is from New Zealand in the "New Aussie Babes" section.
"I am a 26-year-old single school teacher from New Zealand that would love to get into modelling," Whitwell, who uses the nickname Lexy, is quoted as saying.
"I've written erotic stories for an R-rated magazine and run my own pole dancing studio."
Teachers council director Peter Lind told Sunday News there would be an investigation.
"What is private and what is public is always a grey area but when they intersect we investigate.
"When a teacher is in the public arena we must say that it does impact on their ability to do their job."
Teachers council records confirm Whitwell is registered to teach until September, 2011.
She taught at Yendarra School in Otara, south Auckland, until a year ago when she left to spend time with her young daughter.
She plans to return to teaching once her child is older.
New Zealand Educational Institute president Frances Morton wanted Whitwell's photographic appearance investigated by authorities.
"There is enough around this for the teachers council to have a look and come to a reasoned and principled decision," Morton said.
"This should never, ever get into a school and probably wouldn't.
"But you need to look at how it would affect her teaching as it is something outside of the classroom."
Families First's Bob McCoskrie said the images were "not a good look". "Teachers are role models and having a teacher linked with Penthouse is taking things too far," McCoskrie said.
"This is something the teachers council should be having a very hard look at."
Whitwell, who told Sunday News she was also interested in becoming a paramedic, said the naked images did not change the fact that she was a good teacher.
"People will vouch I'm a really good teacher.
"My ability to teach and have good relationships with students is not affected," she said.
She was surprised at the controversy. "I didn't think that anyone from New Zealand would see them," she added.
Yesterday Crow refused to comment.
Last year, Sydney teacher Lynne Tziolas, 24, was sacked for appearing nude with her husband in Cleo magazine alongside an article headed, "Buck naked couples talk about their sex lives".