California Teachers: Accused Child Molesters Get Due Process, Former Adult Performers Not So Much

The Smoking Gun has a gallery of images from the adult film career of Stacie Halas, who was fired Wednesday from her job as a science teacher at Richard B. Haydock Intermediate School in Oxnard, California. 

Oxnard School District Superintendent Jeff Chancer (whose office claims he is "out of the office attending a meeting" during what is certainly a big news week in OSD history*) in March told the Smoking Gun, "We’re trying to determine if there’s a nexus on what she does on her own time and what she does in the classroom." 

However, Chancer’s more recent comments suggest his objections have nothing to do with Halas’ behavior in the workplace. "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 says in this very self-amused story from KPCC’s Don Frances.  "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."

There is no evidence that Halas performed in porn after her probationary period at the Oxnard schools began in 2009 [pdf]. And while most coverage of the story claims Halas’ old videos were discovered by her students, an earlier version of the story held that it was an office worker at the school who found the video. There is also a shortage of evidence that parents were upset about the matter: When the school board held a meeting in March to discuss the Halas situation, nobody showed up

The Oxnard SD is certainly entitled to remove a teacher it believes could become a problem in the classroom. Presumption of innocence is for criminal courts, not workplaces. 

California schools already provide a level of due process for teachers most of us would envy in our own jobs. A spokesman for California Teachers Association, which represents Oxnard elementary and middle school teachers, tells me a standard dismissal includes an appeal procedure. Halas is entitled to a hearing before a three-member panel comprising an administrative law judge, a teacher selected by the school district, and a teacher chosen by Halas. She has 30 days to appeal.

But Oxnard’s rapid dismissal of Halas is a pretty striking contrast with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s tolerance of Mark Berndt, the Miramonte Elementary teacher accused of abusing at least 23 third graders. Complaints about Berndt first surfaced in 1994. In 2008, one girl’s parents also complained, and the principal at the time responded by transferring the girl to a class taught by accused child molester Martin Bernard Springer. 

The school’s inaction against Berndt in 1994 has been explained by the fact that a Sheriff’s Department investigation did not result in charges. But again, the state’s burden of proof in a criminal case is, and should be, higher than an employer’s burden of proof in a termination case. Burger King would have lost no time 86ing a controversial employee. Why should a public school system? 

It’s a different school district and a different teachers union. But it’s interesting: Whatever snickers Halas might have inspired from her students (and public broadcasting reporters), she wasn’t a threat to her class. And yet she’s fired, while an alleged child abuser kept his job for 18 years. These two Golden State stories, which like all tales of California are creepy and ridiculous at the same time, raise an important question: Is the goal of public education to educate kids while not hurting them, or is it to avoid embarrassment

* An earlier version called the Halas dustup "the first big news week in OSD history." That dubious distinction should probably go to the E.O. Green Junior High shooting

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Damn.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Tiffany Six. Not too stinkin'.

  • SweatingGin||

    Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad

    I'm hot for teacher

    /I don't feel tardy

  • Bingo||

    Hahaha, first photo is one of those pizza box pornos.

  • Formerly Almanian||

    Teh pron and teaching. Two noble professions.

    Fuck the teachers' unions. And fuck California.

    That is all.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Fuck the teachers' unions. And fuck California.

    She did. On film. Oh, you mean... Oh, you're clevvvver!

  • mr lizard||

    Ah yes the old junk in the box gag. Great at home or the workplace.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Works every time, just remember to let the pizza cool first. Nothin' worse than mozzarella blisters on yer junk.

  • shamalam||

    No wonder American students are losing interest in science. The administrators fire all the good science teachers.

  • Killazontherun||

    Sipping a very good beer tonight. Monk's Blood. This is something else entirely.

  • SweatingGin||

    I'm now working on an aviation.

    Started the night with French 75, then sidecars, now aviation.

  • Killazontherun||

    Started the night with two superior Scottish products of which I'm fairly familiar, Ebulum elderberry Black Ale, and Gozet Gooseberry and Wheat ale, and moved on to the Monks Blood. Similar actually to Ebulum, but a very long taste experience that never goes fully bitter. Incredible. Glad I bought the four pack (only two each of the other).

    I have two Ranger IPA's to go that I have had in storage for two months and put in the refrigerator last night. They should be about right tonight.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Fat Tire Amber Ale.

  • ||

    Heady topper

  • TomD||

    I've been drinking Budweiser for about a quarter of a century, and I don't think it's ever dawned on me to consider the length of its taste experience or manner in which it does or doesn't go fully bitter.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that, and stuff.

  • Bingo||

    I'm almost a quarter century in age, old man. It sure as hell dawned on me to spend my money wisely. And I can get a lot more drunk for a lot cheaper and a lot better taste drinking decent high BV% pale ales than the swill that comes out of macrobrews like Budweiser.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    She was truly an inspiration for those kids -- stimulating young minds and such. They'd always rise to the challenge and try harder whenever she was around.

    Anyone else?

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    My high school physics teacher should have been in porn. She would have made good money if she wanted to go pro. Appreciative of a young man with a sense of discretion, an inquisitive mind and serious stamina.

  • ||

    She gave the students a lot to think about. She inspired their dreams. They explored themselves just as they explored the world with her.

  • Sevo||

    OK, fuck Reason's "Your comment contains a word that is too long (50 characters)."

  • Sevo||

    Whatever it didn't like in my post? Stuff it.

  • Bingo||

    I actually got that when posting a raw url without sticking it an (a href)

  • Sevo||

    I appreciate the info, but ya know, if Reason can't figure it out, I'll be more than happy to help at $175/hour.
    Other than that, fuck 'em. Not my job.

  • Hell's Librarian||

    In addition to the h ref thing, it also seems to have something to do with smart quotes and apostrophes. I agree with the gist of your comment though, it's incredibly annoying that you have to go through every cut & paste and make sure the quotes and apostrophes are the Right Sort and replace them if not.

  • Copernicus||

    She's a pro. Always knows where the camera is.
    I was going to skip this article until I saw the words "gallery of images" (before the gallery of images was embedded in the article).
    Glad I stayed.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Burger King would have lost no time 86ing a controversial employee. Why should a public school system?

    Because Burger King exists to serve it's customers while school districts are make work programs for unemployable jerkoffs.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    When does 69 = 86?

  • ||

    I see you are not well acquainted with Government School Math.

  • Abersouth||

    Definitely NSFW but hilarious video of/about this woman.

    http://www.efukt.com/20976_Tea.....ium?_.html

  • AlmightyJB||

    She likes to get nasty:)

  • AlmightyJB||

    Thing is she comes out and says taht she knows she would get fired if it came out. That's a lot of school down the drain. Our maybe she just didn't like teaching enough to care. It may well suck but I'm not sure you'll find to many schools in the world where she's not gonna get fired.

  • ||

    Wow! That is one gorgeous porn star.

    It's too bad society is so prudish about sexual pleasure and lust. I mean, witness how many teachers there are who obviously engage in gluttony every day and no one gives a rats ass.
    In fact, I'm sure the school board has even sanctioned group gluttony parties from time to time...and possibly even filmed them.

  • TomD||

    I'm probably just getting older, but I'm starting to think the fact that society isn't prudish is half the reason we're almost to hell in our handbasket.

    I'm also starting to realize that there was probably a good reason society developed prudishness -- or "decorum," is maybe better -- about sex. There's a lot of human history behind us, and it's not like those humans were any less horny than we are. Maybe they figured out that wrenching the mystery and magic out of sex ultimately made it less appealing, or something.

    I don't know. But I figure there probably had to be a pretty good reason for it. It's not like "society" would just randomly decide to become all "oh golly sex should be private and tasteful" for no legitimate reason.

    But I'm open to counterarguments...

  • ||

    Oh sure, rain all over my adolescent parade with logic.

  • Bingo||

    Answer: religion, statism, and feminism.

  • ||

    It wasn't random, but it wasn't an organic societal impulse in response to a biological/evolutionary thing. That is one of the many happy things you can blame on the Abrahamic religious traditions.

    I don't usually blame religion for most of the worlds woes, since humans are always going to find a reason to fight and kill each other, but that is definitely one of them.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Short answer - the welfare state. Promoscuity was fine for slaves, more cheap labor. For serfs, not so much. Also note how atitdues change based on proximity to the equator (the growing season).

  • np||

    That is one of the many happy things you can blame on the Abrahamic religious traditions.

    Look at society everywhere before it's spread and you'll find a complete reversal. Pagan Europe. Pre-Islamic Middle East. India. Japan before the mid-1800's (although today, remnants of its less prudish past remains)

  • AlmightyJB||

    I don't think that is hard to figure out. Just look at Muslim countries. It's male dominated society where men do not want to marry a woman whos had another guys dick in her. So they have to be virgins to start with. That's why the families cover them up Once married the men don't want any other men to be tempted to go after her. That's why the they cover up their wives. The west may not have taken it to the same extremes but it's still all about jealousy and ego. The women have to be chaste.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    All this cosmo talk about Prudish America reminds me of the liberal meme about how we're a land of cowboy capitalism and completely unregulated markets. It makes me wonder if we're talking about the same universe.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Where, exactly, is all this prudishness everyone keeps talking about? Is it really prudish to worry about hiring an adult performer as a teacher? Whatever we may think of that question, it is miles away from burka-and-scarlet-letter, prudes-under-every-bed fantasies I'm hearing.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I'm not seeing it either. Just turn on a TV. I remember taking to my pre-teen daughter to the store to buy her some shorts. I actually ended up asking someone working there if they had a non-slut section for kids clothes. I mean Daisy Dukes for 10 and 11 year olds? Seriously? We ended up leaving without any shorts.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Without purchasing shorts:)

  • np||

    It is in exactly where it matters the most: the state

    It doesn't matter if society itself is conservative. All that matters are the legal proscriptions. Now I'm not talking about this case specifically. Any business should have the right to fire anyone, although the article correctly highlights the lack of consistency, and a decision not really based on merit (the judgement being based on her past career; not how she her current performance or behavior as teacher)

    I am talking about the disconnect between what you perceive as an acceptance of the less prudish in the median norms and laws that are decidedly less tolerant or punishing for those just slightly away from that median.

    Just because we are more free in some areas than other countries doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for greater freedom.

    It's ironic you mentioned that comparison to the meme of claiming to be in a free market because I see claims of not being prudish in the same way, when in reality people on the left and right, the socons and the progressives complain about the decadence, about sex, anything "for the children", etc and then push for legislative, authoritative control. Yet if we are as you claim, why is the FCC nip-slip case still ongoing? Why does the Fed and every state continuously tries to regulate speech and consensual activities?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    As you indicate, the legal provisions are more permissive than just about any other country present or past. Even in the pagan cultures described above, many of them would cut the heads off of adulterous wives. Maybe there's a First Amendment right to show an exposed breast during a prime-time sports broadcast, but if so the U.S. would be among the pioneers on this topic (speaking as you do, of laws not practices).

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And I believe this thread is discussing the culture as much as the law.

  • np||

    Yes I grant you that society was hardly free; but somehow as we progress it's almost always gain a few freedoms, loose some others.

    Maybe there's a First Amendment right to show an exposed breast during a prime-time sports broadcast, but if so the U.S. would be among the pioneers on this topic (speaking as you do, of laws not practices).

    Actually many other countries already allow nudity on broadcast TV and mainstream media. This topic came up before and I had mentioned France as one example, seen in a regular daytime commercial, when I was there a while back. Germany is no problem too even in regular newspapers and magazines. Of course, it's not like they have free speech either. The situation is reversed with violence and so-called "hate" speech.

  • jacob||

    I agree with NAL that she's gorgeous, but I also agree with TomD.

    I remember a thread that devolved into everyone attacking Ken Schultz because he denounced someone using the word cunt. While I agree in freedom of expression, I think it's perfectly reasonable to not agree with it.

    You're not the only prudish libertarian. And I don't just think it's your age.

  • Mr. Soul||

    agreed. Also, just because I am against government control of speech, doesnt mean Im against self-control of it.

  • PantsFan||

    While you chumps are getting drunk, I've been wandering the streets of Kiev and Jerusalem
    http://www.gearthblog.com/blog.....ael_a.html

  • ||

    That is a long trip bro.

  • PantsFan||

    I discovered a billboard for KievLove.net
    "international marriage agency"

  • ||

    The billboard glows in the dark, sans neon. Quite a trick, no?

  • Coeus||

    I see no mention of the ATM in this article. That's some shoddy reporting. For shame.

  • ||

    Or Greek Studies.

  • ||

    I'll be in my bunk.

  • AMB||

    The real perversion here is Jeff Chancer's abuse of the English language. Seriously, read his quotes from the article. They sound like a 4th grader trying to imitate a graduate student.

  • AMB||

    Also, your comment parsing code sucks. I had a longer comment and it got blocked with an error message about containing a word that was too long.

  • ||

    The workplace is indeed not a criminal court. However, the constitution binds all government agencies, not just the courts. A school district is a government agency, albeit one rather low on the bureaucratic food chain.

    A government employee enjoys greater protections when it comes to exercise of rights, particularly the right to due process, because their employer is absolutely forbidden to do certain things, that a private employer can do at will.

  • The Derider||

    Specifically article 1 section 10,

    No State shall ... pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility

    States can't create legislation that retroactively negates contracts. Makes it harder to fire people.

  • han||

    It’s a different

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement