The Southern California science teacher who was placed on administrative leave last month for a former career as a porn actress once spoke openly about also being a teacher, and expressed concern that she would be outed in school for her second job, The Smoking Gun reports (NSFW content).
Stacie Halas, 31, was dismissed from her post as a seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Richard B. Haydock Intermediate School in Oxnard, Calif. after students and teachers reported a pornographic film Halas appears in. Halas is on paid administrative leave and has appealed her dismissal, as her pornographic career spanned 2005-2007, years before she was hired to teach in Oxnard in 2009.
One of her videos, "No Cum Dodging Allowed #7," was filmed in 2006 -- while she was employed by another California public school district -- and includes a behind-the-scenes interview during which Halas admits her film career was "very risky for me, 'cause I am a teacher," according to The Smoking Gun. She adds jokingly, "at least I didn't do the students."
She adds that she's "a little bit" worried about people finding out about her moonlighting job, but does it for "money, and it's fun, it's exciting."
So was she worried, at the time, that she'd get fired if anyone found out? "Questionable, probably," Halas told the interviewer, though she "did work really hard" to earn her teaching position.
When the Oxnard school board voted unanimously to remove Halas in April, the decision was unrelated to the teacher's conduct in school, Superintendent Jeff Chancer told the Associated Press.
"We're dealing with the disruption that we believe it would cause our district, and the schools in our district, if she were to return back to the classroom," Chancer said. "Maybe it's not a crime as far as the penal code is concerned, but we feel it's a crime as far as moral turpitude is concerned," he told the Los Angeles Times in March.
Halas' contract, however, does not contain a moral turpitude clause. California state law prevents those who have committed certain crimes from working in public schools, but since no criminal offense has occurred in this case, Halas can only be disciplined or fired if officials can determine with evidence that her private life is affecting student education, according to the Ventura County Star.
Students and administrators who had seen portions of a video called it "hardcore pornography." Still, some community members are unconcerned with Halas' side job.
"It's her life outside of school, so I don't really mind, because she didn't do it at school," Yaneli Abriz, whose cousins attend the school, told KTLA.
Halas is one of a number of educators caught in the crossfire of a nationwide debate on teachers' rights beyond the school grounds. Today, about 20 percent of teachers are moonlighting in second jobs as their salaries have taken a hit due to massive budget cuts. That figure is up from about 11 percent in 1981.
Educators are increasingly trolling "help wanted" ads and are taking on second jobs as bartenders, waitresses, school bus drivers and the like. And like Halas, teachers say they do it because they need the money.
But some face a dilemma when they choose a second profession that can be seen as morally questionable. Florida-based teacher Shawn Loftis was fired last year after his past work as a gay adult film star surfaced. The Florida Education Practices Commission, however, overruled his termination after determining that his work as a porn director and actor was legal.
"This is my past and I left it behind," Loftis told LA Weekly. "I can use my experiences in life to teach kids. 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."
Halas is expected to go before before a panel headed by an administrative law judge to hear her appeal.