Lene Antonsen, who is studying to become a disability carer, told broadcaster NRK that the photos, usually distributed on Snapchat, could easily be avoided by those that didn’t like that kind of thing.
“I have a Snapchat profile with around 20,000 followers. I use it to sell photos via an SMS service. I also appear topless in magazines and on websites. They [the school, ed.] think this is disgusting,” Antonsen said.
The student, who moved to Fredrikstad last year to study to be a disability carer, said that her part-time job had gradually become known to staff at Østfold University College.
The school’s management, having previously contacted Antonsen by email and spoken to her at interviews, have now referred the issue to its fitness to practice committee (skikkethetsnemnd), which will review Johansen’s case in May, reports NRK.
“This is an extreme reaction. It is like shooting sparrows with cannons,” Antonsen’s lawyer Torjus Torjusen told the broadcaster.
The lawyer said that the committee informed him, to the best of his understanding, that it will evaluate whether the Johansen’s private life is likely to affect her ability to perform her duties as a carer.
Torjusen said that the pictures did not put anyone’s lives in danger, and that “if it had been prostitution, then it would have been against the law. It is not against the law to sell this type of pictures.”
The referral of the case to the college’s suitability committee “reminds me of museum keepers and moral police,” he added.
Østfold University College told NRK that it did not wish to comment on Antonsen’s case specifically, but information officer Tore Petter Engen from the college said that cases were assessed in accordance with “regulations for suitability assessment in higher education” which applied at all universities and colleges.
“In principal I can say that it is up to individual students what they do in their spare time. But if we receive reports of no confidence then we are obliged to follow normal procedure and evaluate the case in the way the national regulations stipulate,” he said.
Engen added that five reports of no confidence were received by the college last year, and only one of these was to the fitness to practice committee. The student in question was found “not unsuitable”.