Art Teacher Stands Accused of Selling Students’ Painting On Personal Website

A Quebec art teacher is being accused of selling his high school students’ artworks on his website without their consent for personal profit.

An art teacher at the Westwood Junior High School in Saint Lazare has landed in hot water with the parents of several of his students for allegedly selling their drawings and paintings online without their knowledge and permission. The discovery was made by accident when one of the students searched his name on Google only to discover one of his art class drawings listed for sale on his teacher’s website. Word spread around the school, and before long, other students reported their own artworks had been listed online by the teacher. Some of the kids told their parents about the bizarre practice, and they appealed to the high school board for clarification. Now, some parents are asking for moral and punitive damages from both the art teacher and the high school.

Photo: Barbara Froes/Unsplash

“The items, priced between 30USD and 120USD, were used without the consent of their creators, in bad faith, and in violation of all laws related to the intellectual property of an artist,” the parents’ complaint reads. “Nothing authorized Mr. P. to appropriate the work of his students for personal gains. This act is even more egregious as it stems from the use of material created by students in a school setting, under authority, and sold with impunity at high prices.”

CTV News first reported on the art teacher’s questionable business practice on February 9, days after his students discovered that their artworks were being sold on the teacher’s personal website and showcased on his social media pages. Apparently, they were available on multiple items, including t-shirts, coffee mugs, and phone cases, for anywhere between $30 and $151. The artworks even referenced the students’ first names in their listings, with names like “Logan’s Creepy Portrait” or “Julia’s Creepy Portrait”.

“Imagine your 13-year-old son coming home from school today with a story that his art teacher is selling students’ artwork online at $94 per drawing without their prior knowledge!? That is completely insane,” one of the children’s parents posted on social media. “I’m sure I’m not the only parent that wants answers.”

Some of the parents asked for answers from the high school, but after receiving no answer, they sent a letter asking for $350,000 in moral and punitive damages for alleged intellectual property theft, as well as a formal apology from the teacher,, and for the art to be removed from his website.


After the news went viral internationally, making headlines in the US, UK, and even Australia, the art teacher disabled his Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and deleted the students’ art from his personal website. More than 90 of his students’ paintings and drawings were available on the website before the scandal began. The teacher has yet to issue a statement on this matter.

“I’m extremely disgusted with this person. It’s extremely, you know, it’s unbelievable,” the parent of one of the students whose art was sold by the art teacher said. “Is [he] asking for these types of portraits to be done so it meets the market? I’m not quite sure on that aspect. However, I am not impressed at all with this person. I’m not impressed with the school, or the school board … [My daughters] feel cheated.”

Westwood High School launched an investigation into this matter, with the board telling journalists that it was “aware of the situation and is taking these allegations very seriously”.

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