From pornography to science teacher; she deserves a chance

In Opinion

Although not a highly respected field, pornography is a legal industry for those who choose its work as their occupation.

Courts in the United States have struggled with how the law should treat material that may be offensive or considered obscene to the general public. In the case California v. Freeman, the making of hardcore pornography was legalized in California by freedoms granted to Americans under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Adults are allowed to own, see, make or publish this type of material, with some exceptions.

Earlier this year, Stacie Halas, an Oxnard middle school science teacher, was fired for her involvement in the porn business, even though it was years before she started her career as an educator. Her past profession was reported to the school board after students had found one of her pornographic movies online.

Oxnard school officials confirmed the allegations of Halas being in porn movies and uncovered her alias “Tiffany Six” shortly after. According to interviews with Tom DeLapp, a spokesman for Oxnard schools, Halas had lied about her past employment and that alone was reason enough to fire her.

School district officials also claimed that students who knew about her time in the adult film industry would be too distracted to effectively learn from such a role model.

Last week, an NBC news segment was aired that reported Halas is currently in hearings, fighting to get her job back. Despite the scrutiny and opinions about her involvement in the adult film industry, she hopes to once again be a science teacher.

School officials have commented to the press that Halas should not be reinstated as an educator, but those arguments simply aren’t strong.

First and foremost, the fact that Halas did not list on her resume that she was in once in pornographic films should not be a main factor held against her; what should be the main concern here is that the school’s background check did not reveal her past.

As Halas’ attorney, Richard Schwab stated to NBC, “It was up to the school district to look into her background.”

If a simple employment check was not verified by the school district in this case, more incriminating and dangerous facts can be left undiscovered in the future that can actually pose a danger for students.

It is also important to take into account that Halas’ past profession is legal and was a temporary solution to financial problems she was facing at the time. Halas has stated to the press that her only reason for acting in porn was for money.

In an article by the Ventura County Star, it is reported how Schwab even questioned a district official during a hearing as to whether it was appropriate to teach students that when a person makes a mistake that’s not criminal, the person can seek change and improve.

Instead of seeing Halas as a negative influence like district officials inferred in their response, she is actually the exact opposite. Yes, some will frown upon her involvement in pornography, but the fact that she reformed herself is something to admire.

Halas was involved in pornography between 2005 and 2007, but had left that in the past by the time she started teaching in 2009.

She left the adult film business to finish her education and get her teaching credentials, and that is an inspiring story.

It is safe to say that everyone has made a mistake. Sometimes those mistakes are something that are better forgotten or kept secret, out of fear of criticism. This was the case with Halas, and her past will not affect her ability to be a good teacher.

The school district argues that her involvement in pornography is a negative influence and distraction. Halas, however, is not encouraging her students to do the same.

She is educating them about science, which is a completely different subject. She is not showing students that she used to act in adult films, nor is she flaunting that fact.

After all, the main argument against her is that she didn’t tell anyone about her past. She has the courage to fight for what she really wants, which is to teach, and that should be the real news factor here.

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One commentOn From pornography to science teacher; she deserves a chance

  • First, don’t jump to conclusions and make a connection between social nudism and pornography; there is none. We’re commenting here from a position in defense of personal freedom and common sense. Ok?
    .
    As mentioned above, Ms. Halas was engaged in a legal, if distasteful to many, occupation, so let’s drop the idea that she’s some sort of criminal. A lot of people have had jobs that are less than admirable but that doesn’t disqualify them from being a good person.
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    If we’re going to deny employment based on stereotypes of ‘morality’, shall we also refuse to hire former Boy Scout leaders, priests, and athletic coaches? Those particular fields have come under heavy fire for attracting and supporting pedophiles; do we really want ‘that kind of people’ around our kids?
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    Note that those are primarily male fields; perhaps all teachers should be women, just to be safe!
    .
    The idea that her past profession might be distracting reminds us of how that same rationalization has been used in regards to skirt length of girls, long hair on boys, t-shirt logos, jewelry, etc. Sounds like kind of a catch-all to be used when logic fails.
    .
    Was she terribly wrong to omit that one particular job in her resume? Anyone who has submitted a resume knows that one does not list each and every job held in the past, particularly ones that bear no relevance to the job applied for. One highlights one’s qualifications, which she obviously had or she wouldn’t have been hired.
    .
    Was it the school’s ‘fault’ for not discovering her shady past? Background checks look for criminal activity, not legal occupations. There was no fault; there was no crime to discover!
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    Our interest, from a naturist perspective, is that this as just one more example of a Puritanical minority unwilling to accept that their concepts of morality, while fine for them, simply are not adequate anymore in a diverse society of over 300,000,000 people. Moral standards are necessary in any society, but that morality must fit the times and circumstances to be respected and embraced. Even Cotton Mather, when not burning witches, recognized that times were changing. Three hundred years later some folks are still looking for witches to burn.
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    Our society is much more accepting today of folks of many different cultures and lifestyles which would have been unacceptable not long ago. We are learning how to live together in ways that have never been seen before and that that requires some flexibility in the way we see others. A ‘one size fits all’ moral philosophy doesn’t work anymore.
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    So what is all this fuss really about? A woman got paid for participating in the kind of activity that most of the fathers of her students would give their right arm to do! THAT is her ‘crime’; that she is a woman who made her living attracting the husbands of the mothers, not that her students would be ‘distracted’ by her past. They’re far more distracted by the physical presence of each other than they are by some older woman who used to be in porn flicks.
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    Since she was qualified enough to be hired, the only question should be about her performance as a teacher and the results she gets from her students. If they’re as badly distracted as some believe, then that will be quite evident by the next time she comes up for review. Deal with that then, in a professional manner. The world won’t end if it turns out that previous porn acting actually does degrade teaching ability.
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    Grow up folks, it’s the 21st century and we don’t brand women’s foreheads anymore. We shouldn’t burn them at the stake either, metaphorically or otherwise!
    .

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