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Wellsville school employee resigned then arrested for selling photos of students over several years

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By JOHN ANDERSON

The Wellsville Sun has learned long-time Wellsville teacher assistant Barrie Fanton allegedly sold photos of Wellsville students on websites and through companies like Getty Images.

Fanton resigned, the Wellsville Sun learned and has now been arrested by the Wellsville Village Police.

Police charged Barrie R. Fanton, 79 of Wellsville, with official misconduct. Police said the charge stems from an incident that took place on West State Street in the village. She was was processed and issued an appearance ticket and released to appear in court on Feb. 15 at 4:30 pm.

This is an example of a photo Fanton was selling on her website of a teacher and student. The Wellsville Sun is not posting photos that show the faces of the children.

A Philadelphia radio station had a story online about a mom posing as her 13-year-old daughter and being arrested. The stock photo the station purchased featured four Wellsville students (three young girls) working on a project at a table with pens and paper.

Some of the websites included commondreams.org where photos of Wellsville students were sold and used in publications. Many of the photos were purchased through Getty Images and credit Barrie Fanton for using Wellsville Central School students.

Wellsville Central School Superintendent David Foster said in a statement, “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 during the school or workday, and then selling those photos to at least one other company (as stock photos) for her personal profit. The District is working with law enforcement and its School Attorney regarding a full investigation of this matter. It is our understanding that Ms. Fanton was arrested today. Additional information will be forthcoming, as appropriate, as further details are known.”

The websites were even in French selling photos of Wellsville students over the years.

In 2007, Fanton was featured in the Buffalo News for a story on Odyssey of the Mind and has been featured in several stories by the local press over the years.

The Wellsville Sun called Getty’s Internal Affairs Department in Seattle and left a detailed voice mail with their legal counsel for these matters.

A copy of the email the district sent to all staff today and obtained by the Wellsville Sun.
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