A longtime teacher assistant in the Wellsville Central School District has been fired and subsequently charged amid allegations she took photographs of students and sold them for profit and without permission to companies that provide stock images.
Barrie Fanton, 79, had been a teacher assistant in Wellsville for more than 50 years, since September 1971, according to district Superintendent David Foster.
In addition, the Wellsville Police Department charged Fanton with official misconduct, a misdemeanor, stemming from an incident on West State Street in the village.
Wellsville Police Chief Tim O'Grady confirmed the charge was the result of a complaint filed by the school district.
Foster released a statement following Fanton's dismissal.
"The district was recently made aware of one of its now former employees, Barrie Fanton, taking unauthorized photos of students and/or others engaging in school activities and selling these photos to at least one other company (as stock photos) for her personal profit," Foster said.
"The district is working with law enforcement and its school attorney regarding a full investigation of the matter," he said. "It is our understanding that Ms. Fanton was arrested today (Thursday). Additional information will be forthcoming as appropriate as soon as further details are known."
O'Grady said Fanton was selling her photos on the website agefotostock.com. There is a page on that site with multiple photos of children in school settings credited to Barrie Fanton.
O'Grady said he wasn't aware if Fanton was selling photos to any other companies.
Following her arrest, Fanton was processed, issued an appearance ticket and released.
She is due to appear at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 15 in Wellsville Village Court to answer the charge.
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This article originally appeared on The Evening Tribune: Wellsville teacher assistant accused of selling student photos