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Should A Past Career in Porn Block You From Being a Teacher?

I firmly believe that anyone who works with children should be held to higher moral standards than the average person. In fact I believe that anyone who is in a position where they can be considered a role model at all, should also be held to a higher moral standard.

Teachers though should be held to the highest standard of all.

That being said, I don’t necessarily feel that a teacher should be judged on what they did before becoming a teacher (obviously assuming it was not violent criminal activity or anything). In fact I really don’t care what a teacher has done in his or past as long as the state required background test is cleared that person to teach. And that teacher is a good teacher of course.

I don’t care if a teacher did drugs, or was a bit wild in her younger years. As long as she outgrew those habits and is a wonderful teacher to my child today, that’s really all that matters to me

But what that teacher used to do porn? Yes, I said porn.

And before you ask why I would use porn as an example, let me tell you about a substitute teacher in Florida. Shawn Loftis was fired last year after it was revealed he used to do gay porn under the name Collin O’Neal. Administrators told him that he could not work in the school system for at least five years.

But surprisingly enough, they reconsidered. Loftis has been reinstated—and even invited to apply for a full-time teaching position by the Florida Education Commission. Loftis told L.A. Weekly that he’s “proud of his state” for reinstating him: “The key point is that they said when you go back to the classroom and a student brings this up to you, you will be able to handle that. I thought that was highly progressive of them.”

The state of Florida, like many states, has a “moral turpitude” rule for educators. This means teacher can be fired if they’re discovered doing something immoral. But Loftis pointed that most cases involve felonies: “There’s no debating whether you were convicted of using drugs or stole something. But there is debate on whether my past was illegal. It was not. Porn is not illegal.”

Now I’m certainly not saying that a teacher should be doing porn as their side job while teaching, ummm no. But as I said before, who am I to judge someone’s past? Especially if the choices and experiences that person has faced (for better or for worse) in their past has made them a better person and a better teacher. Loftis has even said he’d like to use his role as a teacher to help guide students away from making the choices he had made.

After I wrote the first part of this post I started poking around to see what other parents were saying about this story. I saw someone say that if a child can spend less than 10 seconds on the internet looking for a picture of his or her teacher having sex with two other people and find it, maybe that teacher shouldn’t be a teacher…

It took me less than ten seconds. And being I don’t usually surf the web for porn, I was shocked out how easy it was. My third grader could have found it had he known who he was looking for.

I imagined myself in middle school and high school finding out one of my teachers had been a porn star and wondered how long it would have taken me and my friends to give in to temptation and look him up…

Then I imagined how I would face that teacher the next day.

I guess it would depend on how good of a teacher he actually was. Because you know what, if he was a good teacher, it wouldn’t really matter.

I’d love to know what you guys think about this. Don’t we all deserve to make a better for life for ourselves? Or are some life choices just too permanent?