20/01/2013

Stacie Halas ruling: prior porn career does affect ability to teach

Back in March 2012, Stacie Halas was fired from her teaching role. Hitting pupils? Smoking dope in the staffroom? Nope. It was because pupils attending her school discovered her previous profession: a hard-core porn star.

Moral depravity, not illegality, the issue for school board


A statement issued by the school board at the time conceded that no criminal activity had been entered into by Stacie Halas. Or Tiffany Six, as was her chosen screen name.


Their decision had been based on the 'moral depravity' represented by Tiffany Six's graphic film roles. Moreover, that the material was still available online could lead to compromising situations as yet unrealised.


Following the discovery of Stacie Halas' dubious past, the teacher was suspended. A letter was subsequently sent home to parents suggesting they monitor their kids' Internet activity. I bet I know what was trending on Google Local.


[caption id="attachment_44149" align="aligncenter" width="646"]stacie halas original news story Porn Star Teacher - Every Schoolboy's Dream?[/caption]

No doubt concerned fathers conducted extensive study into Halas' background of their own. They had to make sure nothing remained on their kids' hard drive, after all. Any responsible parent would have done the same. Confiscating the laptop for an hour may have been harsh, though.


Stacie Halas appeal rejected by female judge


Based on her understanding of the law, Stacie Halas appealed the school board's decision. Did the previous porn star career affect her abilities to teach? That's a hard one.


The judge presiding over the appeal, Julie Cabos-Owens, had no such difficulty reaching a decision. She agreed with the school board and rejected the appeal without hesitation.


Again, Halas having brought down the curtain on Tiffany Six's porn actress career was a moot point. The general availability of the films online served to undermine the teacher's present and future effectiveness. The school's reputation wouldn't have been up to much, either.


Judge Julie ruled that Stacie Halas would be neither a respected colleague nor an effective teacher, should she be allowed to continue teaching.


Previous online misdemeanours resurfacing will be commonplace


Richard Schwab, Council for Stacie Halas, tried to convince Judge Julie that the former porn star's actions, although ill-advised in hindsight, were akin to that of much of the population.


Millions of YouTube and Vimeo stars upload all manner of personal content daily. Some of it's genuine, but there's also years of video that could come back to bite many a CEO on the arse later in life.


Schwab put it to the appeal committee that we're at the beginning of an era where previous online misdemeanours resurfacing would be commonplace. No matter how true that statement, it didn't wash.


He makes a valid point, in my opinion. Internet heavyweights like Google are striving to ensure we're all using our own names. They cite the attempt to rid the scourge of scammers and spammers as the reason. However, with what we know about NSA, that argument's lost all credibility.


Yet none of this changes the fact that thousands of websites avail us of uploading personal content with little more confirmation of who we are than a:



  • username;

  • password;

  • valid e-mail address.


Beware of personal content you upload anywhere on the Internet


It's been reported that 79% of firms in the UK have used social media to either source new employees or corroborate information provided to them.


Much of that focus was LinkedIn. However, would-be employers, conscious of how people will fit into an existing workplace environment moreso than academia, understand that candidates show more true colours away from the pressure cooker of "The World's Professional Network".


Recruitment agencies are also screening our social media profiles with bespoke search engines to mine potential candidates or enhance CVs we provide. Everything tagged 'public' is fair game.


Would you be comfortable with a future employer accessing your online social media profiles? Like everything you've ever uploaded to the public domain? Makes you think, dunnit?


Okay, we're not suggesting that everyone's a porn star like Stacie Halas (more's the pity). But profanity, suggestive images, reactive comments and even the online company we keep could all count against us if not handled responsibly.


With every item you upload, be it personal content, images, status updates or videos, just ask yourself one thing: "Would I be doing this if I knew Big Brother was watching me?" Because make no mistake, he so is.




Have Your Say:

  • Does the fact that Stacie Halas appeared in porn movies before becoming a teacher have a bearing on her effectiveness to teach?

  • Or are Judge Julie and the school board right to sack her?