When the teacher is an ex-porn star

Once a porn star, Tera Myers taught science for four years in St. Louis.  She was forced to resign when a student discovered her past.

Tera Myers — a k a Rikki Andersin, the buxom, blond star of such XXX-rated gems as “Tight Ass” — last week was outed by one of her male students at Parkway North HS in St. Louis, where the 38-year-old mom has taught juniors for the past four years.

After a meeting with administrators, she agreed to resign.

Myers was forced out of a teaching job in Kentucky five years ago for the same reason. In an interview on “Dr. Phil,” she said “she’d made the biggest mistake of her life turning to porn 15 years ago when she was broke.”

St. Louis school officials think Myers’ resignation teaches that what goes online stays online.  It also teaches that there’s no forgiveness for past mistakes — acting in porn is legal, if sleazy — if sex is involved.  I know Myers’ male students would giggle about her for awhile, but should she be hounded out of teaching as a result?

About Joanne

Comments

  1. I’d like to know what what consequence the porn-watching student and his parents received. While I certainly don’t approve of this teacher’s past choices, I have a problem with parents who allow their kids to watch such stuff. The lesson here is that you can’t correct past mistakes, but it’s ok to make a bad choice as long as someone else’s worse choice gets exposed as a result. Not the lesson I want my students to learn.

  2. Well, it’s a sad commentary that society cannot look past indiscretions in a persons past, but in retrospect, if this person had been an actress or a professional athlete, I suspect society would have looked the other way (the teacher was never convicted of anything, but Lindsay Lohan has been on probation since 2007, manages to continue to run afoul of the law, and gets more breaks than any of us would).

    I’d hope the kid and his parents are proud of themselves, but if the other students and their parents had any guts, they’d come to the defense of this teacher.

  3. Also, unless it’s a Catholic school or a Christian school (where you have to sign morality contracts), a teacher is allowed to engage in promisucous sex, have a string of live in boy friends, be someone’s mistress, etc. etc. etc. Heck, I even had teachers who did pot on their own time!

    SO… why should ‘ex porn star’ get special treatment? A teacher who was a teen mom and manages to get her life together is an “Inspiration”, but a porn star who got her life together isn’t?

    I don’t get it. And even at a school with a ‘morality clause’, the problem would be if she was CURRENTLY working in porn, not if she had done it in the past and repented…..

  4. I agree with everyone. The parents should be more concerned with the fact that their son is googling porn.

  5. Mark Roulo says:

    I think it is probably time for her to think about teaching K-5. I expect (hope) that most of these kids aren’t spending time watching porn.

    I’ve got a 10 year old. Assuming Ms. Myers taught well, I’d have not problem with her teaching my child (I’m homeschooling, so this is hypothetical … but still).

  6. Also, as long as the teacher isn’t actively recruiting for the porn industry, how does this REALLY effect kids?

    “Mrs. X was a porn star, and now she’s stuck as a high school teacher! Wow…. porn star really IS a lousy career path!”

  7. I’ll have to disagree with most of you on this. First, the word “parent” does not appear in this post or in the original article, so let’s call that a non sequitur. I wonder if your reactions would be the same if she were not ashamed? If she had said on Dr. Phil, “It was a valid career decision and got me were I am today,” would it be as easy for you to defend her presence in the classroom? One woman’s “past indiscretion” is another woman’s valid career choice. If Ms. Myers were allowed to stay merely because she is repentant, what grounds would there be to disavow a teacher who was not repentant, but rather proud of her work? Do you really want your 10-year-old to struggle with that lesson?

    Morality aside, I imagine she was asked to resign based on how her previous work will now disrupt the school’s learning environment. I think it’s a bit naive to think that her male students (or rather, the school’s new freshman class each year) would just “giggle for awhile” and move on. Ms. Myers is owed dignity and respect–and it sounds like she was given that–but past decisions have consequences, as I’m sure we’ve all learned. This is a no-win scenario.

  8. dangermom says:

    Yeah, I have a real problem with this. I think pornography is a scourge, but you can’t deny people jobs based on legal things they did in the past.

  9. Sean Mays says:

    Competent chem teachers aren’t easy to find. Presumably she did a reasonable job based on her tenure in each district. It would be nice if we could practice the forgiveness and 2nd chances for her that we give to the kids.

    Interesting angle on the repentance. How do we feel about the NYC English teacher who was an escort before teaching and then blogged about it? She seems neutral on the repentance / relish axis. Should it matter?

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5852836/melissa_petro_reassigned_new_york_city.html

  10. I agree with Norm… while in principle I agree that someone’s past legal actions should not be held against them, this will be a constant issue for Ms. Myers’ classroom and the school.

    That being said, I think the true issue here is the student’s ability to access porn. ISP’s (many of which are cable providers also) should automatically filter out adult websites unless the customer requests the filtering to be turned off. Short of denying all unsupervised access to a computer, there is no reliable way for parents to prevent their children from seeing smut.

  11. Mark Roulo says:

    “ISP’s (many of which are cable providers also) should automatically filter out adult websites unless the customer requests the filtering to be turned off.”

    One can get software to do this that runs on the PC. Apple Macintoshes ship with something like that by default, and Windows machines may also. If Windows boxen don’t, then there is 3rd party software that will do this.

    But it is still only a mostly/partial solution.

  12. SuperSub says:

    Mark-
    I’ve set up the software before…and of course I’ve seen it beaten by determined teenagers. Any PC-based solution will only work 100% with a child that has the integrity of not going to those sites in the first place.

  13. Which is why parents need to keep the computer in a public place where they can SEE what the kids are doing.

  14. Richard Aubrey says:

    Problem is the guys in class watching her, thinking of her earlier career.
    It’s been said that some high proportion of female college grads got some of their college money by stripping. Given the number of strippers and of female college grads, it doesn’t sound likely. But, in any event, they weren’t taped.

  15. Michael E. Lopez says:

    She shouldn’t have quit, and she shouldn’t have been asked to quit.

    Frankly, this is one of the very few instances where I’m willing to say that there is pure, unadulterated sexism at work. Running a woman out of town for a licentious past has a long and inglorious tradition.

    It’s shameful and she should sue on a constructive termination theory.

    Caveat: I’m not licensed to practice in either KY or MO.

  16. Michael, it’s not about the woman’s past; it’s about the resulting sexualized learning environment. The ones who would suffer most from her continuing to teach are the teenage girls. You may accuse me of unadulterated sexism for saying so; so be it.

  17. Richard Aubrey says:

    If guys’ licentious behavior were on the ‘net, I suspect they’d be out of a job, too.

  18. Michael E. Lopez says:

    Tandy — or the school district he represents — is a lowly little worm:

    He said the district hopes to use the incident as a teaching lesson.

    “We’re trying to remind them of real-world consequences, that the decisions you make will be around in the electronic world forever,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/hot_for_teacher_3gnCz82R8D9lvWFtPPpPEI#ixzz1Gg3JpVek

    I call BS on the district. If all they wanted was a lesson in how consequences stick around forever on the ‘nets, they’d keep her in the classroom and use her as a lesson.

    That’s not what they want. They want to inflict an additional consequence, pour encourager les autres.

    And that sounds suspiciously like a government body inflicting a punishment for legal behavior. And that seems like grounds for a lawsuit. (Again, caveat: I’m not licensed to practice in MO or KY)

    Were I her attorney, and were there actual grounds for a lawsuit in that jurisdiction, this idiotic statement by the district would be in bold italic in my complaint.

    And frankly, the dumb**** attorney who let this statement go out should be fired.

  19. According to the St. Louis newspaper, she asked to be put on administrative leave and is being paid for the rest of the year.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/article_cb46fea8-f3df-5605-a4f9-60ed3ec7737b.html

    From this article it is not clear that she will not be returning. Her contact information is still on the district website.

  20. Soapbox0916 says:

    The learning environment is already sexualized if the kids have access to the porn. The kids can can apply what they have seen in porn to anyone they know and use their imagination when thinking about any teacher. Real or not. Kids don’t live in a pure world even if their teachers are not ex-porn stars. So what if the boys think about her past. Similar for the girls.

    Part of kids growing up is realizing how to concentrate despite hormones and various influences.

    The teacher did nothing illegal and it is long time ago in her past. She should be judged as a teacher based on her teaching abilities.

  21. So 15/16/17-year-old girls in that school district will now have the added pressure of “Look at this! Ms. Myers enjoyed doing this, and she’s your favorite teacher; why don’t you want to?” That’s an overwhelming argument for a teenage girl to face. To say “They’re already sexualized, what’s it hurt to add a little more?” is a bit too cynical for my taste.

    Yeah, I know. Part of kids growing up is realizing how to say no, and how to concentrate despite hormones and various influences. How’s that working for us?

    It is not about the boys’ imagination. We already know where their minds are. It is about protecting the girls.

  22. Norm: Isn’t that the rationale for the veil?

  23. No, it’s a rationale for school uniforms.

    Having served in Afghanistan and Iraq and having discussed this issue with Muslims, I have come to believe that at some point, the Western excess of demanding that women expose their bodies and the Middle-Eastern excess of demanding that women cover their bodies becomes be equally abusive.

    You are the one who took it to the extreme.

  24. Michael E. Lopez says:

    Norm Saith:

    …the Western excess of demanding that women expose their bodies…

    What the hell are you talking about? Are you talking about the horrible, unreasonable coercion of handing out beads at Mardi Gras? Or the inflexible, unyielding “demand” of paying supermodels $100,000-$1,000,000 to prance about in their undies?

    On what planet do you live that you do not understand the difference between a law backed up by government force and social violence, and a practice engaged in voluntarily and for benefit?

    Norm also Saith:

    So 15/16/17-year-old girls in that school district will now have the added pressure of “Look at this! Ms. Myers enjoyed doing this, and she’s your favorite teacher; why don’t you want to?” That’s an overwhelming argument for a teenage girl to face.

    First off, that’s not an “argument” at all. That’s a question. And even if we take it as some sort of argument of the “All the cool teachers are doing it, so should you” variety it’s about the furthest thing from an “overwhelming” argument that there is. “Make this porn tape or I won’t love you any more; I promise I won’t show it to anyone” is a much stronger argument when you’re dealing with a teenage girl. It’s like 100 times stronger, and it’s still not overwhelming. Why is it not overwhelming? For the same reason relatively few teenagers play chicken with locomotives or russian roulette despite peer pressure and media images: the downsides are obvious and severe. The fact is that society does not approve of being a stripper or a pornography actress, generally speaking. It tends to be looked down upon. It’s also an “icky” somewhat humiliating business, speaking purely objectively: you have to show your private parts to essentially the entire world. Now some people are into this, and find it no problem. But the vast majority of people in this country aren’t about to jump into the Playboy studios because the downsides are obvious. “Why don’t you want to?” is a question with obvious, easily accessible answers.

    It sounds like you’re saying that allowing a woman to keep her job as a chemistry teacher despite the perfectly legal act of having sex on camera for money somehow erases all that social condemnation. It sounds like you’re saying that by allowing her to teach chemistry in a school, the message is being sent that “Oh that behavior is perfectly OK.”

    Are we saying it’s OK if we allow her to shop in the same store as other people? If we allow her to live in our community? Perhaps we should confiscate all of the teachers’ belongings, place her on the sexual predator list so she can’t get within 1000 feet of a school, and subject her to public flogging… all to make sure she can’t be a “bad example” and no one is encouraged by her.

    Horsepuckey. She is a great example exactly where she is — an example of the consequences of her actions. Think about it: everyone in the school knows that any time any one of her students wants to see her va-jay-jay, all they have to do is press a button. That’s a pretty frickin’ serious consequence.

    The “example” argument that you’re trying to make (and it is the argument you’re trying to make, Norm, even if you don’t use the word “example”) isn’t an argument for firing her — it’s an argument for keeping her.

    Now, as an aside, I take it from Cliff’s comment that she might have left voluntarily. If Ms. Meyers asked to be put on leave, if she is deciding to quit/leave voluntarily because she doesn’t want to face and deal with the consequences of her past, well… she’s a coward and not much of an adult, despite her having turned over a new leaf and gotten a family and all. Adults deal with their problems; they don’t run away from them.

  25. Roger Sweeny says:

    Yeah, I know. Part of kids growing up is realizing how to say no, and how to concentrate despite hormones and various influences. How’s that working for us?

    Teen pregnancy is way down. Teens having sex is also down, though not nearly as much. Maybe it’s not working out that badly.