Jon Hickman, a professional photographer, was let go from the school last Wednesday. It's unclear whether the pictures he took of young men and women were the cause of his firing.
"Any such activities including senior photographs or artistic modeling photographs are not connected with or endorsed by BSM," Benilde's president Bob Tift wrote in an email to parents.
One teenage girl, who Hickman photographed in a bikini, defended him in an interview with KSTP. Maggie Dickey of Vadnais Heights—not a student of Hickman's—contacted him through the website ModelMayhem.com. The aspiring model later exchanged Facebook messages with Hickman."He was really just very respectable," she told KSTP. "He did everything very professional, and didn't want to make things awkward."
Dickey's mother, Jody, met Hickman before the shoot and also found him professional.
"It's just a bathing suit, a couple pictures on a website," she said. "It's pretty natural for young people to wear a swimsuit."