Porn Past/Present Tense II :: When a XXX-past enters the classroom
Across the country, teachers are being held job accountable for legal activities conducted privately outside and away the classroom. How about for controversial, yet also legal, moonlighting far removed from school?
These questions are coming up as the Internet as hallowed peoples’ past come back to haunt their present. In the case of those some men and women who dabbled in a career in adult films, the evidence is right there, preserved on film and videotape for all to see -- and for all to see all.
But should such a past have any bearing on a teacher’s employment? Why does it suddenly matter if it’s been successfully hidden all these years? And -- as happened in a more than a few cases -- what happens when the "fallen woman "or man overcomes the past and becomes a model teacher beloved by students, administrators and parents alike?
Facebook pics lead to firings
Increasingly across the nation, teachers are losing their jobs when innocuous Facebook connections, personal photos and private video clips are forwarded anonymously to parents and school employers. Often good teachers are caught in the crosshairs of a questionable new standard of personal, off-hours conduct that is often used purely for entrapment.
In Covina, California, Charter Oak High School coach Mike Stein was fired from his job in late August after an anonymous parent sent two photos printed out from Stein’s Facebook page to Principal Kathleen Wiard. One photo, allegedly taken more than a decade ago, showed Stein posing with two drag queens. In the other, Stein poses suggestively, about to eat a corn dog.
Many would argue that these photos are about as racy as what you might see on the Nickelodeon channel, which is why Stein believes that he was fired because he is gay. As of the filing of this story, Stein has not yet been reinstated to his job, in spite of protests and widespread student and parental support.
Shawn Loftis’ saga continues
The website Mommyish reported in late September that a fifth grade teacher, Natalie Santagata was fired after privately recorded video clips of her having sex with another consenting adult were anonymously forwarded to parents and administrators. Website blogger Shawna Cohen wrote, "Naturally, there’s a huge debate over whether or not Santagata deserved to be fired."
As reported in Part I of this report, back in January, Miami substitute teacher Shawn Loftis was fired from the Nautilus Middle School in Miami Beach. Loftis, aka "Collin O’Neal," was the producer and onetime star of the award-winning video series ’Collin O’Neal’s World of Men." Loftis lost his job when his former website World of Men was revealed to School Principal Allyn Bernstein.
The story was first reported on Aug. 23 in Miami New Times News’s blog Riptide. The day after, The Huffington Post picked it up, and, two days later an interview with Loftis was telecast on CBS Miami. Loftis maintains that because he had not appeared in front of the camera since early 2010, his career was in the past.
Key players in the gay adult film industry dispute Loftis’ claim.
Also on Aug. 23, The Sword, the gay adult entertainment and lifestyle website owned by VOD giant Naked Sword, ran a series of threads critical of Loftis. Initially supportive when Loftis began his CNN iReporting in 2010, blogger Zach Sire’s later posts alleged that O’Neal’s adult career was very much in the present, and not the past. In short, he lied.
"While the mainstream media initially got the story wrong by saying that Collin’s porn career was ’in his past’ and that he was a ’former" porn star’, everyone in the porn industry knows that Collin O’Neal never stopped working in gay porn," Sire posted.