School photographer approached student with ‘modeling project’

Monitor staff
Published: 11/30/2020 5:06:45 PM

A photographer taking portraits at Concord High earlier this month asked one student about participating in a modeling project and gave the student a card with links to pornographic material, school officials said Monday. 

School officials notified police and want to know if other students were approached in a similar manner.

In an email to students and parents, Concord High School principal Mike Reardon said that on Nov. 20, which was one of several school picture days, one of the photographers from the company hired by the school district approached a high school student about taking part in a “modeling project.” The photographer, who was an adult, handed the student a card with a phone number and access information that suggested the student visit a website that ultimately promotes pornography.

Geskus Studios was at Concord High School that day to take individual photos for student ID cards and the school’s yearbook, according to an earlier email to parents.

“We are concerned that this individual may have spoken to or given similar information to other students as well,” Reardon wrote. “If you were approached or think you may have been approached about something of this nature during picture day, would you please let me – or another administrator or your counselor – know? Be sure to inform your parents as well.”

In a statement released to the Concord community at the same time, interim superintendent Kathleen Murphy said the district immediately alerted the Concord Police Department, CHS’s school resource officer and the photography studio. The incident was also reported to the New Hampshire Department of Education and is currently under review by Karen Fischer-Anderson, the district’s Title IX safety compliance officer.

The photography company immediately terminated the employee, according to Murphy. Neither Murphy or Reardon mentioned Geskus by name.

“In addition, the district is reviewing whether sufficient safeguards were in place by the photography vendor to minimize their chance of hiring anyone who would put a student at risk,” Murphy said. “District administrators are concerned that the individual may have spoken to or given similar information to more students than the one who reported the conduct.”

Murphy says any parent or student who has any relevant information is encouraged to contact the superintendent’s office or an administrator at the high school, as well as the Concord Police Department.

Geskus conducts background checks of its employees, the company says on its website. Geskus is currently hiring and requires employees to have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation, however, no experience with photography is required.  


Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.



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