There is an appeal filed in Dallas by a teacher, Resa Woodward, 38, who was fired because of her prior work in the adult film industry almost two decades ago. We have previously discussed such cases, which I find troubling because these are people who worked in a lawful industry. It is even more concerning when, as here, the individual claims that she was forced into the industry as a form of “sex slavery.”
Woodward taught sixth-grade science at an all-girls STEAM academy at Balch Springs Middle School. However, someone exposed her work some 16 years earlier in pornography and she was fired. She has appealed to the Texas Education Agency.
She has explained that she was in an abusive relationship and eventually walked away from the relationship and the industry. She turned her life around as a teacher in in North Carolina and Florida and later Texas. Along the way, she earned a master’s degree.
As a teacher, she earned the highest rating of “exemplary” in the schools distinguished teacher program and was a nominee for district teacher of the year. She achieved other recognitions for her teaching skills. She begged for people to show a modicum of understanding and mercy: “Please tell me this is not the end. Do not penalize me for a dark saga in my youth that was not of my making.”
While I understand the difficulty presented by such cases for schools, I find it problematic that schools can fire people for their work in lawful industries due to the objections of some to the underlying morality of the field. In her termination letter, the district said that she was fired because her previous work “in adult content media” was accessible on the internet and available to the public. It added that such access “casts the District in negative light and adversely affects the District.”
Adding to the difficulties for Woodward is the fact that she missed a critical deadline and failed to properly appeal the decision.
Both teachers and even students have faced such disciplinary actions for work in the industry. Even a lunch lady was subject to such discipline. Some teachers have succeeded in challenging such decisions. This may be my libertarian tendencies but I find punishing people due to their lawful lifestyles or professions to be troubling. I have previously written about the increasing monitoring and discipline of teachers for conduct in their private lives. I recognize the disruptive aspects of having a teacher with such images on the Internet. However, we have seen teachers disciplined for images of drinking wine in Florida or engaging in dancing deemed inappropriate. The question is how much discretion is allowed in barring people who have committed no crime or simply engaged in activities that some consider immoral. Is it enough for a district to declare that something you have done in the past would be disruptive? What is the activity was more artistic like nude acting scenes or interpretive dancing? My concern is always focused on how to draw such lines and who is given such authority.
What do you think?
178 thoughts on “Texas Teacher Fired Due To Prior Work In Adult Films”
Then there were the rumors swirling around a beautiful blonde/green eyed female
Pre-calculus, trig & algebra math teacher. All the guys signed up for her class including me. I got an A+. That extra tutoring really helped.
I’m a believer in keeping the governing rules for education as local as possible. If this community supports this woman because of her qualifications as a teacher and despite her history then she should be accepted by the school administrators. If the community does not want a teacher with that past teaching their children, then she should be dismissed. I’m certain there are school districts elsewhere that would welcome her qualifications and she should seek those out before forcing a district and perhaps a community to accept what they may clearly not be willing to accept…yet.
I’ll bet that they’d accept her at Bow-Chick-A-Wow-Wow High.
I think that each state should pass laws making it a felony crime subject to death penalty for any priest to perform pedophile acts on anyone under age 18. Death by amputation and thus bleed to death. Amputation of the dong. Then send the dong to the Vatican in a small casket.
To parents out there: Don’t trust cub scout or boy scout leaders. Never let your kid work in a Catholic church as a choir boy or alter boy or any other duty under the view of a priest. If you have a pedophile priest in your neighborhood then shoot him when you can get away with it.
Is it not a criminal offence to counsel murder?
Hard to improve on Jack Ruby.
These students are lucky to have a teacher with such a background. She is an asset to the school.
One of the defining characteristics of the morality of the US is that you can’t show a nipple but you can show people blowing the heads off of other people with guns. Violence, a force of nature in chaos is OK but that which is truly a force of nature to be treasured, nope.
Finally said something worth reading CONGRATULATIONS!
We’ll let a teacher trash the Constitution, defame the President and his family, or organize a revolt but god forbid they ever had sex on screen for money somewhere in their past to support herself. It’s a scarlet letter society and the criteria for one is all wrong.
No one needs to do this ‘to support herself’. They do it because the pay is better than that in the usual service employments and because someone will hire them to do it (and, of course, because they lack the scruples other young women have about this sort of thing).
She says she was forced into it by a cretin boyfriend to support them both.
I had a chance to look on the school’s Facebook and their “Great Schools” ratings. With just some passing research, they don’t look like that great of a school.
As a libertarian, it infuriates me that she was fired over a profession that didn’t hurt people or take their stuff, and was “legal”.
As a parent of a sixth grade boy, it infuriates me that they should fire a teacher who was she was good and enthusiastic.
Because of the lack of reasonable teachers and Common Core, I pulled my son out of public school and put him in an on-line western civilization, libertarian academy.
Really good teachers are very hard to come by, even in the best of school districts. I know, because I’m no passive parent.
What they did was criminal, if not legally than morally. If my son found his favorite teacher years later in a porn film, well then….”stuff happens.” This is life. However, with the amount of porn out there, I would imagine it would be like a needle in a haystack. With the school publicizing this, her students are more likely to find the stuff.
This is just more proof that mediocrity rules public schools in this country and that priorities are really really screwed up.
As I told my son’s whinny third grade teacher, “Shut up and teach. That is, if you even know how.”
As a libertarian, it infuriates me that she was fired over a profession that didn’t hurt people or take their stuff, and was “legal”.
It does, because soi-disant ‘libertarians’ have scant interest in liberty per se and a great deal of interest in making life safe for purveyors and consumers of vice goods.
Here is a phrase from the past: Teacher, teacher, I declare: I can see your underwear!
Prosecute any pedophile priest who lives in that town.
The school Principal (no pal) and each member of the school board need to be highly scrutinized for their entire lives. Put it on the web and ask all their high school, college and grade school associates to chime in. Look at their police records. Get their mental health records. Get their other health records. See if any ever had a sex health issue. See if any were divorced and inquire of the prior spouse if they had any sex with other people while married. Then move to fire them if any off beat thing comes up. I don’t mean beat off. But the teacher needs to be reinstated and one way to prevent this from happening again is to expose the sanctimonious a holes in the sanctuary city. No, not that kind of sanctuary city as referenced below.
I’m for vetting anyone who has contact with children of any age and requiring that vetting be updated annually….especially in the field of education and call it the Ginzburg Law.
If we have to live in fear of the education system then let them live in fear of us. All it takes is a local law properly worded to include all situations of working full time with underage children meaning 17 or less.
Might make it easier to use the same amount spent on local school district education taxes for other forms of education including those that actually educate.
Jack, I agree with you 100%. In addition, their computers all should be scanned. If any of the sanctimonious wankers have viewed any adult porn whatsoever, then they need to be fired.
After the Soviet Union fell things got difficult for the average local citizen to the point where an internal poll showed the number two career after housewife for young girls was prostitute. Why? They liked to eat. So what did the USA so to help the transititon. Send money by the plane load in currency to the oligarchs. One group started doing nude modeling with younger and younger girls but the other two choices were being sold to the middle east (to feed the family) or sold into prostitution a much different way than ‘modeling.’ So our government sent help int he form of investigators to shut down this horrible practice (not selling or traficking part but the modeling part)
The reason for all this? They and their families were hungry and jobs were few and far between lwo paying and one photo session was paying enough to feed a whole family for a month. Number of arrests resulting zero .. No one would cooperate. it was a Rachel Carson solution sent by Washington DC (which was receiving it’s share of the barely legal variety as well.
So the point is much the same espcially with our governments really phony annual human trafficking briefing and training (a power point program for ten minutes or so) it’s the same story as this teacher but magnified by the thousands.
I learned all this from a friend who is from Ukraine and immigrated as a licensed ships officer but was working deck hand. We were runnning grainships to the Black Sea area at the time. All his family was doing ok as he brought most of his salary as a deck hand US wages to his family in Odessa. and that’s also how some of us atarted bringing in blue jeans to sell Good Will to Good prices or trade for stuff to sell as souvenirs back home.
We did more good with our little black market operation and occasional visits to their ports than the US Government was doing with all it’s massive resources.
But many of those ‘trapped’ eventually ended up sold south
Your tax dollars at work but not quite in the way intended. .
If the teacher was a male, well, they’d make a music video of it.
In our state government agencies cannot be slandered or libeled. I don’t recall the case law citation though. Public schools are municipal corporations by law. I find it difficult to argue that if a municipal corporation cannot be slandered but the school district then claims that a particular employee’s personal history can somehow harm the reputation. If reputation attacks are a form of slander, and the entity cannot be slandered, I don’t see how a school district can prevail in a case such as this.
The irony about this is that a person could be convicted of a non-violent felony, seven years later have their conviction record expunged and have their rights restored, then become a teacher but this woman is sacked simply because she “is” and not what she has done in a school context.
And, I’ll be money that each of these school board members watched a porno movie at some point in their lives. Are they guilty of voyeurism. Maybe they should be punished also.
This case demonstrates again how stupid, hypocritical, and short-sighted school administrators are. Instead of focusing on the contributions of Ms. Woodward today, they pass moral judgment on her and continue to give her the very same abuse that she lived with in her earlier life: i.e., they are saying to her in so many words, “You are worthless as a productive member of society and you can only earn money by selling your body in some form or another.”
On top of this, I’d bet a load of cash that these very same administrators passing judgment on Ms. Woodward are active consumers of pornography themselves. These holier-than-thou characters are always hypocrites.
This case also demonstrates how little we’ve advanced, morally and ethically, and how sexually repressed society continues to be.
There’s an old Columbo episode with a plot that should be dated by now, but, unfortunately, is not because of the societal conditions I’ve spoken of. The episode is called “Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health,” starring Peter Falk as Columbo, of course, and George Hamilton as a security expert who finds success as a TV host of a security-themed reality show. But Hamilton’s character has a secret: he formerly performed in pornographic movies. A rival discovers the secret and threatens to expose Hamilton’s character if he does not turn his show over to the rival. You know the rest.
The funny thing is that even when I saw this Columbo episode more than a decade ago, I thought the idea was dumb. Who would commit murder just to keep an ealier life as a pornographic performer a secret? What’s the big deal if the public learns that someone was once a pornographic performer? I mean we’re still not a unenlightened, backward, repressed Victorian society, are we?
Unfortunately, it seems, sexual repression is forever.
Ralph, I’ve got to give credit where credit’s due. I agree with your comments wholeheartedly. Kudos.
It seems to me that the above comments are carrying the same essence of “moral judgement” in equal proportion. In addition, assertions/assumptions of hypocrisy, without evidence, are made in regard to the administrators’ proclivities as well.
Is this a case of ” (Thou) doth protest too much, methinks,” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act III, scene II?
Methinks you doth protest the protestors too much.
Seriously, I think the hijab is useful here. She can remain anonymous to students. If she wear a hijab and gives no personal details when teaching then everything will be ok.
She did nothing illegal and should not be fired for it. A lot of women put themselves through college stripping or porn. Why should they be punished for it. If anything Ill bet she gets more cooperation from the male students and more interest from the fathers being involved in their kids school activities. Sounds like a win win.
It seems to me that the salient point used here is “did nothing illegal,” Is this premise a universal standard to be applied for all employment? To narrow it down to the occupation at hand, is this premise to be applied to all potential and current grade school teachers?
Is all that is “not illegal” to be considered acceptable as in not disqualifying?
A lot of women put themselves through college stripping or porn.
No, almost none do. Not many people are employed in such trades and few of them are college material.
So how many really want their kids to see repeated “rewindings” of their teacher’s participation with multiple penises and vaginas interaction combined with oral performances resulting in accompanying semen production during all sort of activities that even porn stars say they wouldn’t perform in private life.
Let’s see now, 6th grade boys (& girls?) are 11-12 yrs old and most assuredly see porn. Now, there is the question as to the formation of the adolescent brain and concepts of accepting “no’s” as no. Scripted NO is never acceded to in porn scenes and nearly always lead to passionate sexual satisfaction.
So now they get to latch on to their teacher’s full exposure—an authority figure. Sure, this is a situation for a teachable moment. But, it’s not one I would have liked to add to my trying to survive my kids adolescent journey.
Any guys, who see no problems here, evidently have forgotten their early adolescent obsessions.
Whether or not sex slavery was involved, while abhorrent, is not a mitigating factor for a primary grade occupation.
There are all kinds of prior youthful “activities” which disqualify one for an occupation.
All things may be permissible, but not all things are acceptable.
I understand that it’s non-actionable for a neighboring couple regularly having fully exposed sex in front of their living room’s large picture window. Legal but acceptable?
Want either of them as your child care provider? Without reservation? Really?
I do not “want” such a person as a caregiver……. I just don’t see the problem …… the “without reservation” add on is a straw man…. How tiresome to live among people afraid of so many things including sex
She teaches at an ALL GIRLS school.
Wow. Compassion? You are so afraid of a teachable moment that you condemn a person to a life far below her ability and determination to perform because you don’t like something she did years ago. Wow. Says way more about you than her.
Yes it does say something about me and I’m not afraid to speak to it.
What she did years ago is recorded and is fully available as if she is doing it today.
She chose to pursue teaching adolescent girls, and it was her right to pursue that course for her life. It is also the right of others to determine the fitness of the person for a job under their purview
Renegade – when you apply to teach you probably apply at 50-100 places. You interview with who takes you. You take who hires you. Although, I have turned schools down because I did not like the interviewer.
Yes it does say something about me, and I’m not afraid to speak to it.
What she did years ago is recorded and is fully available as if she is doing it today.
She chose to pursue teaching adolescents, in this case girls, and it was her right to pursue that course for her life. It is also the right of others to determine the fitness of the person for a job under their purview. This isn’t not a case of a Constitutionally defined protection of individual rights.
Now, would we of this thread hire her for this position if she is still performing in porn? How about the earlier grades?
That is one of the conundrums of modern video recordings and now the internet. Nothing past remains “past” as in old pictures or articles. Porn video is in the home, on tablets, everywhere and in the present.
Her charges are of an age which has difficulty handling current social interaction, just ask any parent of adolescent kids. The liberals defending her are the same ones who decry all porn as demeaning to women and markets them as pieces of meat. Now there is a clamoring for one of the performers to be an adult authority figure to be emulated? And, the adolescent minds are to differentiate the issues? How’s that working out with other more mundane issues? ……Thought so.
If the accounts of what caused her to perform in the videos are true, it is tragic. However, videos don’t provide that context.
Sure, it may be a Harper Valley situation, but, to a certain degree, isn’t that always the case? Even in our own families? BTW, how many on this thread who are parents have told their children all about their own past?
Girls at this age are beginning to really deal with their developing sexual differentiation and femininity. This stage is not one to which I would want to add further confusion. There is a reason for grading movies and television episodes for parental guidance.
But I have to admit, I took my young daughter to R rated movies like Terminator but wouldn’t dream of taking her to see reissues of Black Beauty, Old Yeller, Bambi, and the like. She even agrees that the traumatic sobbing aftermath wouldn’t have been worth it. It wasn’t until years later that she realized that the scenes of the medical personnel coming to save E.T. were good guys, and her going to the hospital was no longer to be greatly feared.
Nope, wouldn’t need another issue of even more magnitude introduced to that storm called “adolescence.”
“So how many really want their kids to see repeated “rewindings” of their teacher’s participation with multiple penises and vaginas interaction combined with oral performances resulting in accompanying semen production during all sort of activities that even porn stars say they wouldn’t perform in private life.”
“Rewindings” seen by primary-school students? We can’t all grow up a preacher’s son. I remember when I was in elementary school: I would have given no less than ten steelie and ten puree marbles and a pack of Winstons for a view like that, and I can’t imagine the boys’ attention being anything less than focused.
The major danger, as JD Salinger wrote, would have been to mom’s good paper doilies.
Who in their right mind would use paper doilies?
Whatever’s available. 🙂
But then, I guess the point is made that right mindedness isn’t in the cards here. Not sure I would have given up more than 5 steelies and 5 cat eyes. If Winstons could fatten the pot, fine, I hated smoking. Would just have “borrowed” a pack from my grandmother.
BTW, the reality re. ‘preacher’s son” is often the opposite of the perception. I would not wish the status of PK (preacher’s kid) on anybody. I wasn’t one but knew several. There is even a book which describes the toxicity of such a life. Our daughter became a PK as she started high school and is clear that she couldn’t have imagined life in earlier grades.
PKs who have survived and and are recovering (somewhat akin to AA precepts) are not to be trifled with.
Thanks for your forthrightness, Renegade. I’m sure there are a whole different set of stressors placed in the mix in a PK’s adolescence.
I think the decision lacked compassion.
Such decisions could force women in her position to the lowest rungs of society, where they may find themselves desperate to make a living and forced to make destructive choices. They condemn her for her participation in the industry, but then take gainful employment away from her. So which is it? Should she be a good girl and go back to porn because that’s all she deserves? Whether it’s prostitution, stripping, or porn, trafficked girls get very little compassion, empathy, or understanding. This is like a throwback to 200 years ago when saloon girls were condemned for their occupation but shunned from polite society, or the movie formula where the redeemed harlot usually dies in the end. I suppose to some small degree, we do have an untouchable caste.
I understand that the availability of the films will cause no end of tittering among the teenage boys of her classroom now that it’s out there. But she is not a current erotic actress, it was lawful, and she’s made the claim that she was a trafficked. And by all accounts she was an exemplary teacher. Is the message that no one should be allowed to turn their life around?
This action does not pass the stink test, but seems like a PR move.
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone faces adversity. The question is how the individual deals with their situation..
This woman said no. She overcame the negative forces in her life. She persevered to gain an education in a technical field. Now she is making a contribution to her community.
I think the woman is a roll model proving that women do not have to give in to the dark forces that would take them down.
It is the board that ought to be removed from office.
If anything, she sets an example to the students that one can overcome mistakes and bad circumstances to become a success in life. She went from the porn industry to earning a master’s degree and teaching science at an all-girls academy. The school lost the chance to exhibit the virtues of compassion and redemption, and instead set an example of being punitive, judgmental and unforgiving towards something that a member of their community did at a young age almost two decades ago.
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