A 25-year-old Kawerau College teacher was shocked to learn naked pictures of herself have been circulating by email - with allegations the photos were on her internet dating site.
But the principal of the college, Steve Hocking, is standing by the teacher, claiming the email is malicious and misleading.
Hocking said the woman had naively sent the photos of herself, including a topless shot and one of her standing in her underwear, to a so-called "friend".
That person had superimposed the photos on to the woman's NZ Dating website, and circulated the photographs in an email.
The email with the photographs attached, including one supposedly showing her dating website page, was sent to him three weeks ago from someone calling themselves "concernedparent2", Hocking said.
He had spoken to the teacher who told him the photographs had been superimposed on to her dating website page.
The woman had acknowledged that sending the topless photo by email was "perhaps not the wisest thing she's ever done but at the end of the day you send an email attachment to a supposed friend and you don't expect it to come back in a malicious way".
He could not explain how the topless photo had been superimposed to make it look as though it was on the woman's dating website but the school had ascertained that the photos were not on the woman's dating page.
"I investigated it to make sure there was nothing untoward and there wasn't, so as far as we are concerned there is no significant wrongdoing."
Yesterday the woman was shocked to learn the email was still circulating when called by the Herald on Sunday and said she did not want to comment.
Asked whether he thought the woman's behaviour was appropriate, Hocking said it was an interesting debate.
The woman was a "fantastic" teacher and he was standing by her, Hocking said.
She had apologised for the incident.
"I mean she has accepted the fact that naivety was probably a part but basically there is no issue.
"If it had been on the website then there would have been a hell of a lot more issues to discuss."
Hocking said he had not informed the parents of the school because the original email from "concernedparent2" was anonymous. The school was still checking the validity of the email.