A teacher in Western Kentucky has been suspended and will not have her contract renewed after administrators found out she appeared in an adult movie more than a decade ago.Alright, from a justification standpoint, at least the school is on solid ground as it will no doubt cause a disruption in the classroom among high school students. Why then no simply reassign Dye to teach, say elementary kids, who are of course far less likely to have viewed the video or know of its existence?
Tericka Dye, a science teacher and volleyball coach at Reidland High School in Paducah for the past two years, was suspended Wednesday.
"Your presence in the classroom would cause a disruption to the educational process," McCracken County Schools Superintendent Tim Heller wrote in a letter to Dye. "I fear there would be less than a serious approach to schooling by students who viewed the video or know about it."
Several of the callers this morning on the Grandy and Andy Morning show said that this was the right move to fire the teacher because of moral issues. One caller even cited the likelihood of morals clauses in teacher contracts. Fine, these contracts typically cover behavior while actually employed as a teacher. Thus if Dye made and adult film while a teacher, then the community has a better case.
But I am not entirely sure that what Dye did is immoral. She made a decision she says she now regrets, but did nothing illegal. The porn industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, employing lots of people both in front of and behind the camera. The mere fact that someone was once paid to have sex on camera does not make them an immoral person. And again, what Dye did was perfectly legal.
But if we are going to push the moral angle, let us ask this question. How many times do teachers who are hired have had drunk driving arrests or convictions in their past? How many seek counseling for alcohol abuse? Teachers over the age of 21 are legally entitled to drink and some, before becoming teachers, or even while teaching, have been convicted of drunk driving--an actual crime. Yet we continue to hire these people as teachers. The double standard here is appalling--you can lose your job for participating in a legal activity 11 years ago, but you can be convicted of drunk driving and hold the same job.
But Dye's mistake was to be caught on tape. She admits to the event, noting she used a pseudonym, but then says she was bipolar. Whether she is bipolar or not, playing this sympathy card does not win her any points in my book. She should stick to her guns, admit she did it, that it was in the past and in no way affects her ability to teach.
Yes, her past may be a disruption in her current classrooms, but she should not have to lose her job over this. She has built a solid, successful life for herself and now we are going to ruin it because of something she did 11 years ago, that was neither illegal or immoral. She made a choice she regrets, she should leave it as that and move on. The school system should give her a different job.