Former Gay Porn Star Secures Right To Pursue Florida Teaching Certificate

We have been following a trend toward firing or disciplining public employees for their activities in their private lives, including statements made on Facebook or associations with unpopular groups. One group of employees are teachers and school employees who previously worked in the pornography industry (here and here). Shawn Loftis, 36, faced the same barrier to teaching due to his work as a gay porn actor as well as the director and owner of his own company, World of Men. After a campaign against him and a decision to bar him from teaching, Loftis secured a ruling that he could in fact return to teaching last Friday. He holds a master’s degree in public administration.

While he secured a substitute teaching job at the Nautilus Middle School in Miami Beach, the school’s principal launched a “moral crusade” against him and he was fired for gross immorality. His termination was later sanctioned by the Florida Department of Education in November, which barred him from getting a teaching certificate for five years.

However, last week, the state’s Education Practices Commission ruled that Loftis could secure a teaching job. The decision allows him to pursue a teaching certificate. He has already passed the exam, so now all he needs is a teaching job.

Nevertheless, Miami officials are noting that they do not have to give him a job even if he has a certificate.

This case, in my view, is deeply troubling. I do not agree with the decisions that Loftis made earlier in his life, but he did not commit any crime. Moreover, Loftis himself regrets those years. He stated “If the kids ever brought it into my class, I would talk to them about how it was not one of my better decisions, and that they have to keep on a right track, that they have to go to college, they have to live within their means.”

My concern, again, is with the growing authority claimed by parents and officials over the private lives and activities of teachers. Loftis has shown a strong commitment to teaching and secured an advance degree that most teachers lack on his level of education. His treatment in Florida seems all too much like a “Scarlet Letter” system for teachers. Perhaps we should be teaching our children the principles of a pluralistic society based on privacy values. A teacher is allowed to have private conduct and values that may not fit majoritarian preferences. However, he or she is a citizen allowed to enjoy the same range of lawful activities as other citizens. This is not to say that a teacher cannot cross the line in extreme cases. Yet, the strong presumption should be that a teacher cannot be fired for prior lawful activities or the exercise of free speech or association regardless of their unpopularity.

Source: NBC

13 thoughts on “Former Gay Porn Star Secures Right To Pursue Florida Teaching Certificate

  1. “Perhaps we should be teaching our children the principles of a pluralistic society based on privacy values.”

    Hear, hear.

  2. As a libertarian I am not at all unhappy with this ruling. Since I don’t know the guy, it seems fair to me but I’m not sure I would want him teaching my kids. My 6th grade teacher was a decorated Viet Nam vet who later committed suicide; I can only imagine the stories, reactions and comments that will come out if and when this guy is actually hired. At least the guy has some experience in the real world that he can teach the kids compared to many that come out of college with little or no worldly experiences, literally still wet behind the ears. I would think that determining a person’s intelligence, experience, character and integrity are what we are trying to ascertain in our various pursuits in life. If you look at the various levels of dishonesty; fraud, violence, corruption and lack of integrity, I think that it can be said, that we aren’t doing a very good job at finding the best people for the most important jobs. I would think that we would want people who are seasoned vets in business and life to teach our children. Those that have a life long list of accomplishments and failures to teach our children from their experiences. The guy has a master’s degree in public administration and that apparently gives him the ****** to be able to teach our children.

    A friend said to me the other day. Look at the many problems of the world and you will find as its cause, a government granted monopoly or monopoly power being the primary influence. In this case it is the licensure laws. Because you need a college degree from an accredited university, we eliminate 95% of the population from being school teachers. We bore our kids to death with trivia and misinformation passed down by bureaucrat to bureaucrat year after year. Dropout rates are near 40% in some areas and truancy is equally as high; the very issues that public education was created to solve. If you don’t think we’ve dumbed down our children through public schools, let’s take a microphone out on the streets and ask some of our graduates some basic questions about economics, law, finance and business management.

    If determining the curriculum is derived in a similar manner as electing politicians, no wonder it sucks. Illuminating licensure and accreditation laws will eliminate the control of education by a very small select group and place it back into the hands of the parents and teachers, where it should be, allowing the local Citizens to create and institute a better education system for our kids. We need to take politics out of education or it will continue to suffer for years to come.

    Let’s go one step farther. The right to work? Is this not a fundamental inalienable right? For those of you who have no clue of what an inalienable right is, it’s the ability to go out in the world and do what you need to do to obtain life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness “without government approval or permission”. My question to you, do licensure laws usurp such a right. If you answer is anything but “yes”, I have just proven how poor our education system is, as you do not even understand the fundamentals and intent of our Constitution.

  3. Its pretty simple – does the guys previous work give any indication that it would impact his actual job? SInce nobody should be discussing porn(gay, straight, beastie or all of the above) with 6th graders as long as he does not drag it up its not an issue.

  4. Since one has to be willing to undergo a backround check to even volunteer at most schools, these types of outcomes are not surprising.

  5. Sad situation. I thought the Bible thumpers in Florida were all about forgiveness for one’s sins. I guess that only works for serial adulterers.

  6. It might be prudent for Florida to adopt affirmative action styled legislation to protect former porn stars from discrimination.

  7. WELL
    as I usually begin:
    I haven’t had the position to decide on the basis of hindsight the results of hiring decisions. The few I’ve seen revealed poor judgement on the employer’s part. Judging people is much harder than race horses.
    (If you want more homilies, just say so)

    Judging by experience, men should not be allowed around children, unfortunately some women too. No, that’s not necessarily own experience, although afterward I kind of been suspicious of my childhood scout leader.

    No, it’s based on newspaper headlined cases. Of course, the examination of previous crimes has been tightened and the supervision also. But, we can’t see racial bias, xenophobia, religious fervor of dominionist type, anti-women bias—-from women of course.

    Nuf said.

  8. I have no idea from my brief read what decision this guy made that anyone should now regret.

    He took a legal job. He created legal jobs. He expressed his first amendment rights. He apparently brought joy to people.

    I’m going to let you in on a secret.

    Sometimes I look at women with lust in my eyes.

    Now i ask ya, if you can be President of the United Fucking States of America after looking at women with lust in your eyes, what do you care that an openly out gay man with interests in other men is teaching history to young kids that he has never expressed an interest in!?

    When I was in sixth grade, my teacher was known for having a really hot wife. She was some Betty. No, I mean that literally, her name was Betty.

Comments are closed.