130 Do past acts have to be forgiven?

Comments

Tom Garrett 1 year, 10 months ago

Over in Oxnard, CA, a three judge appeals court panel has unanimously decided Stacie Halas, 32, is unfit for the classroom. Halas was fired in April from her job as a science teacher at Haydock Intermediate School in Oxnard after online videos of her in porn were discovered by students and teachers.

"Although (Halas') pornography career has concluded, the ongoing availability of her pornographic materials on the Internet will continue to impede her from being an effective teacher and respected colleague," Judge Julie Cabos-Owen wrote in a 46-page decision issued Friday by the Commission on Professional Competence.

Student claims that the teacher was moonlighting as a porn star were initially dismissed after school officials said they couldn't find any images of her on the Internet, but they were using the school's computers, which don't give access to porn.

Teachers then showed administrators downloads of Halas' sex videos from their smartphones.

In hearings, former assistant principal Wayne Saddler testified that, at the start of a sex video, Halas talked about being a teacher, and he felt her effectiveness in the classroom had been compromised. Her lawyer, Richard Schwab, said Halas had tried to be honest but was embarrassed by her previous experience in the adult industry.

"Miss Halas is more than just an individual fighting for her job as a teacher," he said Tuesday. "I think she's representative of a lot of people who may have a past that may not involve anything illegal or anything that hurts anybody."

It is true that the former porn star has given up that profession, but the question is whether or not anything in our laws requires that former acts be forgiven.

Your feeling is?

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Bernice Winandy 1 year, 10 months ago

I am surprised that she would even want to continue teaching after her preivous life was discovered. I fear that she would be a distraction in the classroom. Maybe she could try administration. :-)

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Ronald Hamric 1 year, 10 months ago

Tom, My feeling is that one needs the wisdom of a Solomon to provide answers to the issues you dig up on the "net" and present us here on this blog. I appreciate it is in the interest of stimulating thought and debate, but some of these are real doozies. As to the one in question, I could take one of two different and diverse approaches. My Christain faith says I am to "forgive and forget" as God has forgiven me of my past sins and "sees them no longer". Thank you Jesus! As a classic example of the "fleshly person" that I am, my other self would take the position that "there are consequences for our actions". If we exclude "consequences" then what would ever impede resitivism of actions? Life is a lot about "choices". In my career I saw literally hundreds of folks with decades of bad choices written all over their faces. At the human level you feel sorry for them and you try to help. That was my job. But when you really analyze why they are in the plight they are in, it is due to the decisions they made personally. There but for God's grace go I.

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Bernice Winandy 1 year, 10 months ago

Ron, people being people, the person involved would have a difficult time presenting herself in a "serious" manner to her students and their parents. 6th, 7th and 8th graders are a challenge in the classroom. And the parents??????????? She would have to be a very special person in order to pull off the "teacher" role given her known past.

Forgiveness has nothing to do with it.

Perhaps what I am trying to say is that people will forgive, but many won't forget. And in the not forgetting there will always be some that will delight in "snickering" and not give her the respect due to a teacher position.

I only repeat, I am surprised that she would consider a teaching career. And if she was already teaching when she made the sex videos, (as implied by the former assistant principal --at the start of the video she talked about being a teacher) I feel she showed a lack of common sense in making the video.

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Ronald Hamric 1 year, 10 months ago

Bernice, As I said, it's an awkward situation at best. I do sense much of a double standard present in this particular situation. You speak of "the respect due to a teacher position" all the while schools are handing out condoms and contraceptives to those very 6th, 7th, and 8th graders pretty much implying "go for it!". By holding her to a past indiscretion when you are assisting/accepting a similar level of immoral conduct by those very students, seems to me to be a tad hypocriticle. But then, on those few occasions I was in front of a class, the students were all adults and I have no experience with teaching in a High School environment. Probably wouldn't last 5 minutes.

It is obvious that we are in a "whole new world" of reality when we often read of teachers being caught having "affairs" with their students. Seems to me there are issues much deeper in the school enviornment than ""I think she's representative of a lot of people who may have a past that may not involve anything illegal or anything that hurts anybody." It seems the whole teacher/student relationships are not what they were when we were students.

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Bernice Winandy 1 year, 10 months ago

Ron, why do you think i approve of giving 6th, 7th and 8th graders condoms??????????????? Do you know of a school district that has such a policy?

According to the assistant principal, at the beginning of the video she said that she was a teacher. Why did she make this "confession?" Did she or the makers of the video hope this revelation would make the video more "exciting" to those who go in for that kind of stuff? In other words did she hope to use the fact that she was a teacher to improve her chances of becoming a "porn star?" Did she hope to earn more money because she was a teacher doing porn?

Teachers have certain standards of personal conduct, whether written or implied, that they should uphold. I believe all teachers are aware of these standards. If they choose to ignore these standards they do so knowing that they will have to accept the consequences. Please remember while she made the video in her past she already was a teacher, and therefore, I assume an adult of at least 21. She was not some innocent kid that didn't know better.

She is still fully capable of earning a decent living, I just feel she should avoid teaching.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 10 months ago

Odd, you know. Both of you hit the exact core of the debate that something like this should dredge up, the personal aspects versus the practical ones.

As to beliefs, for one thing, there's the question of what punishment is for. Is it for revenge? Is it intended to deter? Is it intended to teach someone to change? (Answer, I think, yes to all three.)

Also concerning beliefs, I agree wholeheartedly with forgiveness, but that's really a personal matter, isn't it? It is for each of us to turn to our beliefs. I have forgiven many things and had people tell me I was nuts to do it. Well, so be it. I feel right about it and that's all that counts on a personal level.

The answer? There is no one final answer; each of us has to look inside himself.

But then you bring up the practical issues involved: The question of choice. The question of her value in the classroom. And so on.

There we have a very different matter, don't we?

As to choice, it's hard to imagine anyone with any real moral structure choosing to perform sex acts in public for money. In our culture that is about as low as you can get. So we are immediately faced with the question of what happens when we place our children under the care of someone who would choose to do that. I can't imagine any parent who would want that, and the bottom line choice in school ought to be parental (not the %$#@! federal government). So on that basis, she made a wrong choice that will follow her all of her life.

As to classroom value, she has none. While adults might be able to put aside what she once was, staying away from it on the net, how can we ask the half-formed minds of children to do the same? Sex? That's where they are focused at that age--the big mystery. That woman would be such a distraction in the classroom that she would be worthless.

I find it great that you two went directly to the real issues--the personal ones as opposed to the practical ones. That says that we are still able to think. It's important, I think, to look at issues like this. Doing it allows us to stay away from the legalistic view of life we see too much of; it allows to ask ourselves who we are.

I get a little worried about that at times when I'm watching DC in action. :-)

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Ronald Hamric 1 year, 10 months ago

Bernice, Never implied you approve of it. I have no idea of what your principles are relating to this topic. If you want some insight into what I said try this :

Condom Availability Programs Are Common. Advocates for Youth National School Condom Availability Clearinghouse has found 418 public schools in the U.S. that make condoms available to students.13 Condoms are made available through different strategies: school nurse, 54 percent; teachers, 52 percent; counselors, 47 percent; other health workers, 29 percent; principals, 27 percent; other school personnel, 13 percent; bowls and baskets, 5 percent; vending machines, 3 percent; and by students, 2 percent.14 In 81 percent of schools, some type of parental consent is required before a student can acquire a condom. In 71 percent of the schools, all students have access to condoms, except those whose parents deny permission in writing ("opt-out"). In 10 percent, students have access only with written permission of their parents ("opt-in").14 In 98 percent of schools with condom availability programs, students may receive counseling. In 49 percent of the schools, counseling is mandatory for condom receipt.14 Counseling commonly includes information on abstinence, instruction on proper storage and use of condoms, and, in some schools, a demonstration on using condoms.14 Just one excerpt from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/449-school-condom-availability

If you want you can find the same information regarding the issuance of birthcontrol in schools as well.

But that whole issue is not what this discussion is about. I sensed it is about "Do past acts have to be forgiven?" As I indicated , I don't have an answer that would satisfy anyone else. But fundamental morality is what is at the core of the circumstances that create just such a conflict. I do not feel that ,in light of the above information, that schools are even attempting to broach the subject of "fundamental morality" with their students and therefore why should they hold a breach of that morality against a teacher. Double standard? In light of today's "morality"? I see the whole thing as hypocriticle. Thats simply my view. Your milage may vary.

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Ronald Hamric 1 year, 10 months ago

Tom, I'm sorry but I think you need to "get out more often" and then you may reassess this statement "In our culture that is about as low as you can get." In our day, yes. In today's permiscuous society, not so much. What passes as "acceptable" in movies and on TV today would have been clearly labeled "porn" back in the day. Not trying to force my views on the matter onto anyone, just pointing to what is clearly more 'acceptable" in today's world. If people aren't aware of just how prevelant it has become, they are simply living in another time and space. Here is a link to an article in no other than the LA Times, that media bastion of liberlism.http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/gossip/la-et-mg-ron-jeremy-heart-aneurysm-on-the-mend-porn-star-20130206,0,3060707.story Nowadays, people in that industry are seen worthy of a major news story. Yes, he's no teacher and therefore falls into some other catagory or is held to a different standard. But hose "standards" are gradually fading into history, and us angry old white guys just need to accept the reality of the modern era.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 10 months ago

I remember when I was in about the 4th grade at the old Julia Randall school, a teacher was fired because she was out to dinner one night and had a beer with her date. Neither was married. It was a dinner date with a beer on a Friday night. Fired the next week. Probably if we knew what went on with our teachers while not teaching most would be fired for something in thier past or present. Off duty is no ones business. Don't advertise it.

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree in part with each of you. For the most part, and in most professions, what a person does in their private life is just that, private. However, once their activities are no longer private, and in any way affect their profession, then they need to re-assess.

In my opinion, it would be impossible for this woman to be effective as a teacher, after her career in porn was discovered. The young girls would look at her and think she is cool, while the boys would look at her and think that she is hot. And as resourceful as kids are, somebody would obtain a copy of her movies and before long every student in school would have seen it. Everything she wore and said and did, would be subject to query.

I agree with Ron’s assessment that teachers are not like they were when we were in school. When I was young, the very thought of a teacher being a sexual being was abhorrent. Now, teachers are having affairs with their students. Heck, a few years ago, I knew of a teacher who dressed for Halloween as a “Harley Whore”, for dress up day AT THE SCHOOL WHERE SHE TAUGHT. Yes, that is exactly what she said she was dressed as. Black boots, low rider jeans with black leather chaps, both of which were low enough in the back to display her side to side and 5 inch high “tramp stamp”,( that is the lower back tattoo), a tiny black leather halter top, and all of her Harley Davidson regalia. Her co-workers thought it was “cool”. Her students did as well. Unfortunately for her, she was killed in a plane crash several months later, so it will never be known how much her Halloween decision affected her job.

I guess that, like Ron, I must be one of those “angry, old white guys” who mourn what once was. I don’t like porn stars being in main stream news. And I don’t like teachers socializing with their students. I don’t approve of teachers advertising their sex lives. And I don’t want to know what people do in the privacy of their own home.

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Bernice Winandy 1 year, 10 months ago

Why mourn what once was, take the best of today and help it grow.

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Pat Randall 1 year, 10 months ago

If you want teachers to set a good example start with the way the women teachers dress for school every day. I have gone to school with my daugter to pick up her grandson and am totally disgusted with the way the way some women teachers were dressed. sloppy, sloppy. I wouldn't go to Circle K or the park the way they were dressed.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 10 months ago

"I'm sorry but I think you need to 'get out more often'"

Could be. Wouldn't make much difference though. I long since learned how to change the channel on a remote. :-)

Don't get discouraged folks. We aren't really out of date and irrelevant. In each generation there have been people who thought they were, but by and large our fundamental moral stance has not changed in thousands of years. We aren't trying to live up to fading moral standards. The standards that are the foundation of our society are still alive and well. It is the standards that were excessive which have flown. The teacher who was fired for drinking a beer in public, for example was abused, but that would have abuse as far back as the time of Socrates.

Some people would like to see all standards removed. They want that because their own standards are unacceptable and they don't want to look like the trash they are. You see it every day. The important thing is to be able to tell the difference, to hold the line, and to prevent the erosion of moral standards through repeated attempts at extending the meaning of the First Amendment.

As long as we aren't trying to force our own individual moral judgments on others, and they--in turn--aren't trying to force their's on us, we are okay. The trouble is that it is profitable to stretch the envelope, so we'll just have to fight that for a while. Never fear; we'll win. We always do.

What we are seeing today is an over-reaction to unfair use of the law in the past by people who tried to force people to be what they didn't want to be. Moral choices are largely individual ones based on strongly held personal beliefs. I may feel that you are wrong if you do something, but that doesn't mean it should be codified into law and enforced. A lot of wrong things happened because of that reasoning. But society makes choices, and it has both the right and the duty to make those choices.

Right now, San Francisco, for example, is demonstrating, with its recent ban of public nudity, that even in the most extreme of the extreme there are limits that society will not go beyond. It just takes time for the pendulum to swing back toward the center.

But before you entirely despair, just ask yourself if most of what we see today as far as doing the right thing is concerned is really all that much different from what we would have seen if we had been having tea with George Washington. That'll help you to relax.

I'm no prude. Far from it. As far as the pro is concerned I just think we come out ahead if we teach kids right from wrong. She chose to do something defined an an act of moral turpitude and so gave up the privilege of teaching kids. We teach more with who we are than with what we say. And just as you have said, the focus in the classroom is a critical part of education. It has to stay on target or teaching is a waste of time. For those two reasons, my suggestion to the lady is to think it through in her next incarnation.

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Ronald Hamric 1 year, 10 months ago

Tom, Just a link that helps make my argument regarding the perception of people in the "porn indutry". http://www.campusreform.org/blog/?ID=4607 You know, you just can't make this stuff up! ;-)

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 10 months ago

Just for the halibut I clicked on that link. You know what it proves? People who have never had any morals still don't have any. They've always been out there; they just stayed under their rocks before, selling little dirty books and French postcards, grinning at each other, living in the sewers, and feeding on whatever washed down to them.

Now we have the internet. For the first time people of all kinds can reach out and find each other. People can talk about anything they want. The rats have emerged and are chattering. They have their own sick little society. Fine. Let them feed on each other. We are never going to get rid of them.

I tried a little experiment that anyone else can try. I went to Google Images and typed into two opposing entries: One was religion, the other pornography.

Guess which one had 2,120,000,000 hits and which one had 119,000,000?

Quit worrying. :-)

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Ronald Hamric 1 year, 10 months ago

Tom, I know you didn't miss my point with posting that link. That an accredited college or university actually invites someone in that trade to "teach" in their institution says a lot about the acceptance of that type of conduct. I appreciate that those universities and colleges are supposed to be places where many various views and ideologies are permittd to be expressed, but I sense we can clearly see the "agenda" of those places. And it isn't about education.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 10 months ago

Ron,

I'll tell you why I don't let trash sites bother me. For one thing, Illigitim non carborundum.

I don't let propaganda get me all steamed up. Yes, there are left-thinking professors on almost any campus who push their agendas instead of doing they are paid to do, but the number is far smaller than you might think. If you stay outside the "social science" department of any college, campuses are so conservative they squeak. The reason you hear about the stuff that goes on is because of people in the media just delight in giving it air time. About the time that the kids graduate and have to get a job in the real world that crap is largely forgotten.

You had a right to get mad, but that's why they do such outrageous things: To get you mad and get you to advertise for them. You fell into a well-planned and perfectly baited trap. The clown who runs that site chose his words well, and by doing it he accomplished his mission, which is to irritate good people into advertisng his garbage by telling others about it. That's a blog site, a dot.org site, and the term "organization" spellls out exactly what it is and why it exists--to push an agenda, making money by getting people to come to the site so it can sell advertising. A good thing to do with places like that is ignore them. Another good thing is to take note of who advertises on them, write to those advertisers, and tell them you will not use their products or services if they advertise on a site that opposes free enterprise. But by getting angry and telling people to look at the site you help them advertise. That's what they want you to do.

Of course it could have been a different kind of agenda, including one that you'd be cheering on, but that's a part of this nation; we allow all viewpoints to be aired. I do not like what that jerk is doing, but I'd fight for his right to do it as long as he does not cross the line into something illegal.

The site, though, is not a dot.edu, dot.com, or dot.gov site. It's a dot.org site, a partisan weblog pushing its own anti-American agenda, and not run by, related to, or affiliated with the University of Illinois, or any other university, public or private.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 10 months ago

As to what college kids do, the place that invited that trash porn star to talk was a sorority dorm: AKA "residence hall." And it was "Laura Haber, the program director for Unit One, the resident community" that invited the pro in, not the university, although the clown running the blog did his best to muddy that fact." That means it is students who are running the show, and who knows that some bunch of bongo-brained kids will do next?

College students lacking the ability to make adult judgments, but out on their own for the first time in their lives, are notorious for getting involved in fringe group activities. They've been doing it since day one. I'm watching a good old musical called "On Moonlight Bay" with Doris Day in which the hero is opposed to banking, marriage, and just about everything else you can think of. Near the end of the film he summarizes what his four years have been like as far a political beliefs are concerned (1914 to 1917) and you would swear he must have been as thick as snot to step into so many pitfalls, but that's just the way college kids are. I was 41 when I went to school, and used to have a lot of fun deflating dumb ideas by just asking, "Well, if that's so, then what about...?"

One time four of the guys were discussing something and I asked them a question. "Got any idea who said that first, and in what book?"

They didn't have a clue, and they wanted me to tell them, but I said, "Hey! If you're willing to listen to stuff like that without asking yourself where it came from you deserve what you get."

A week later, sitting along the wall outside the Comparative Anatomy lab, three of them came wandering up and sprawled down next to me. At first they didn't say anything, but then one of them said, "I looked it up and told that %$#@! professor he better not pull that crap again!" The other two nodded.

The book? "Das Capital" by Karl Marx.

They were pre-med students for crying out loud! On their way to being self-employed.

You know what kind of line they had fallen for? Their economics professor had told them that people were fools when they worked hard because all they did was make more money for the organization they worked for, thereby making it stronger, more powerful, and better able to control the government, which in turn worked to depress their wages, keep them poor, and keeping the cycle going.

That's pure Marx. Heard anything like it lately?

You gotta know the enemy.

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