If you found out that your child’s teacher had been a porn star in her previous career, would you demand that she resign or would you be willing to give her a second chance? That was the issue recently in St. Louis, Missouri.
Tera Myers, a science teacher at Parkway North High School, was just doing her job, which she apparently loved until she was approached by one of her students who asked her about her earlier career as Rikki Anderson, adult film actress. Things fell apart pretty quickly when her past was revealed; school officials placed her on administrative leave because they were concerned that her past would be a distraction to students. She will be paid through the end of the year.
This is not the first time Tera has lost her teaching job as a result of her past. In 2006, she was forced to resign from her job as a science teacher and volleyball coach in Kentucky, where she taught under the name Terrika Dye.
Through most of the mid 1990’s, Myers was involved in the porn industry. She was 22 years old and the mother of two when she got involved in porn movies because she claims she was broke and needed money. She says she regrets what she did and considers it a mistake.
In a statement to the press regarding her forced resignation from her teaching position in Kentucky in 2006, Myers said, “I’m a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who’s made a lot of bad decisions in life. Anybody who’s been in my classroom could tell you how much I love teaching and how much I love these students and that should be what matters more than anything in my past.”
But is that all that should matter? When teachers are hired, we go through a background check because it is imperative that parents know that the adults who they will trust with their most important possessions will be safe. Starring in porn movies under an alias is not going to show up in these background checks. At this time, did Myers or Dye, whatever her name really is, consider telling both of these school systems about her past? Especially after losing her first teaching position, didn’t she stop to think that what she had done in the past was likely to come out in her next teaching job?
The question has been raised, doesn’t this woman, who admits that what she did was wrong, deserve a second chance? And normally I would say wholeheartedly, yes, she does! But here’s the thing. She is a high school teacher. High school students are savvy when it comes to the internet, and her past is not going to go away. And, as a high school teacher, don’t you think it might be a distraction to high school students, especially to the boys, to imagine their teacher as a porn star? Isn’t it also highly likely that these students might watch the porn movies she was in out of curiosity? How could she have her students’ respect under those circumstances?
And she lied by omission to her employers. Her past most definitely was something that would have kept her from being hired. She knew that or she wouldn’t have kept it quiet. That’s just deception, pure and simple.
Would I want my child to have a teacher who was a former porn star? I admit that I would not, and I would have been vocal about wanting her resignation as well. Could I forgive what she had done? Absolutely! Would I want her teaching my child? Sorry, no way!