What Do You Do When a Junior High Teacher Is a Porn Star?

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Have you seen the story coming out of the Associated Press about the California junior high teacher thought to be moonlighting as a "hard-core" porn star? I have two teenagers, one in junior high and one in high school, and when I first heard this, I couldn't imagine what I'd do if this were one of their teachers.

CLAYTON INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DEMOLITIONIt was a bad judgment call on the teacher's part, no doubt. How long did she think, in this tech and media savvy world, she'd go unnoticed? I mean, I know teacher's salaries aren't what they should be, and many have to take on second jobs...but couldn't she have just gotten a job greeting customers at Bath and Body Works or selling Amway to make some extra cash?

But as I read the story further, it struck me that if I were an Oxnard parent, I think I'd be upset that the stupidity and questionable behavior didn't stop with the teacher. It seems to be at higher levels as well. First, it said students tipped off school officials that they'd seen this teacher acting in porn. No mention by administrators of whether these students' parents were notified that their thirteen and fourteen year olds were watching porn, whether they had to pay for access to it, etc.

Then it says that once administrators heard about it, they dismissed the rumors because they couldn't find any images of the teacher online, but then later re-started the investigation because they "realized the school computer system blocked access to sex sites." Huh? Isn't that "school computer system 101"? I've known for over 10 years that school computer systems filter out stuff like that. Any educator and parent of school-aged children knows that. Sounds to me like a lame excuse for either laziness or shielding of the teacher.

And then the ultimate sign of stupidity came from Oxnard School District Superintendent Jeff Chancer, when asked after a notice was sent home to parents at all three junior highs about the situation, if he thought the notice would pique teenage curiosity. "I don't know," he is quoted as saying.

Are you kidding me, Jeff? Are we to believe, as a seasoned educator, you are that out of touch with teenagers? And their parents? You don't think some parents will share that notice with their kids? And that some of those kids will naturally try to find the video (if they haven't already seen it) and that it will be passed on, via smart phone, all over the schools, even to kids who don't really want to see it? Remember, the investigation got started because of teen curiosity! And now that the press has gotten hold of the story, more teens than just those in your district are going to be curious. I'm not saying it was wrong to send out the notice, but it's ridiculous to think it won't fuel more teen interest in the situation. (Whoever hosts that porn website better get ready for an onslaught of hits!)

If I were an Oxnard parent, I think I'd be pretty sad at the state of things in my district right now but at the very least I'd call for a frank and open discussion about porn in junior high health classes and other discussion avenues, since I doubt it's already part of the curriculum. One of your own seems to be part of the industry, and now because of her alleged actions, probably more kids than usual, especially in your community, are being exposed to pornographic images, and so the truth about porn needs to get out ASAP. Bring in guest speakers who used to work in the industry and who now have AIDS. Talk about how violent crimes against women have often started with the perpetrators addicted to porn. And better yet, have the accused teacher, if it's proven to be her, be the one to coordinate all of this, as an act of penance. Because it doesn't sound like, according to the story, that she's violated any terms of her teaching contract, and she, and her "legend," may be around for awhile.

Trying to sweep this under the rug and act like kids aren't curious is the worst thing you can do and will harm those kids further! 

Patricia, www.uncoolmom.com

Photo Credit: jardeberhardt.

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