A substitute teacher at the King Middle School in Portland was removed from the classroom last week and banned from teaching at the school after parents discovered the sub had shared inappropriate sexualized TikTok videos with students.
“On Thursday I was made aware of concerns that students were accessing videos late Wednesday on TikTok,” King Middle School Principal Caitlin LeClair said in an email to parents Friday.
“As a result of our investigation the employee will not return to King,” said LeClair.
The teacher in question was a substitute teacher named Lydia Lamere.
The teacher has also gone by Chris Lamere, Lydia Moon, Clodagh Moon, and Clodagh Lamere, and has identified variously as non-binary, as a transgender woman, and as a transgender lesbian, according to a review of public social media.
It’s not clear which name was used to apply for the role at King Middle School, a process that would have involved passing a criminal background check.
School officials refused to say how exactly students became aware of Lamere’s salacious social media, but one King Middle School student told her parents that Lamere wrote the TikTok handle on a whiteboard at the front of the classroom, encouraging students to check it out.
“As the day unfolded, it became apparent that a lot of students were talking about the TikTok account,” LeClair wrote in her email.
In one photo circulated by King Middle School students, Lamere described starting hormone replacement therapy during the pandemic.
This post and several others that were accessible to students appear to have been scrubbed from TikTok sometime last week, but students in the district managed to download the content before it was deleted.
The students continued sharing the Tiktok videos after the profile was deleted.
In one video the students were sharing and gossiping about, which was obtained by the Maine Wire, Lamere is seen with only a towel on, posing provocatively and talking into a bathroom mirror.
Videos on other social media accounts that appear to be controlled by Lamere suggest the erstwhile substitute teacher frequently posts about gender, sexuality, and transgender issues.
School officials wouldn’t say whether they told Lamere to delete the TikTok videos or restrict access to the account, but the move effectively prevented any parents from seeing the full scope of content the school had inadvertently exposed their children to.
School officials refused to say what they saw in the TikTok videos that led them to fire Lamere.
In a letter to parents, LeClair called the investigation “thorough,” though she has declined to share details.
LeClair said Saturday in a separate email to a parent that there was no evidence the incident resulted in sexual or mental abuse of children.
The Portland School System is in the middle of bureaucratic tumult following the expedited resignation of former Superintendent Xavier Botana.
Botana resigned from the district effective Jan. 13 following the district’s ongoing payroll mismanagement issues, but he still has access to his district email account.
He did not respond to an inquiry about Lamere.
According to Botana’s “out of office” message, Melea Nalli and Aaron Townsend are sharing superintendent duties as co-superintendents. Townsend was formerly the Assistant Superintendent for School Management, while Nalli was formerly the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning.
In response to questions submitted to Nalli and Townsend, Tess Nacelewicz, communications coordinator for the Portland Schools, said in an email Tuesday that the school did not contact law enforcement regarding the investigation into Lamere.
She said the school interviewed Lamere and conducted a criminal background check, but school officials did not review the raunchy social media accounts.
“It is not our practice to review candidate’s social media accounts for any positions in the district as part of our application process,” Nacelewicz said.
Mark Davey, a Portland resident whose daughter attends King Middle School, said he learned about Lamere’s prurient posting when he saw videos of the scantily clad substitute teacher on his daughter’s phone.
“My daughter showed me group text messages where all the students were talking about it,” said Davey.
Davey asked LeClair several questions about the incident, but LeClair had not responded to him as of Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if [Lamere] was scrubbing her social media at the guidance of the school,” Davey said.
“Her gender or sexuality has nothing to do with why I’m upset,” said Davey.
“The violation here is the sexualization of children,” he said.
A LinkedIn account that appears to belong to Lamere lists a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from State University of New York College at Plattsburgh.
Lamere did not respond to a message requesting an interview.