When I was in middle school, there was this home economics teacher with big blonde hair and a very flat voice whom everybody believed had been in Playboy. In retrospect, I kind of doubt it; I’m pretty positive it was just a rumor started by bored preteens, but I remember it being so exotic and fascinating-sounding. It did not, however, remotely distract anybody from doing their work. The teacher, while kind of obnoxious and patronizing in that way teachers of in-betweeners can be, was a good teacher and I still remember some of the more useful lessons she taught about food science. For this reason, I don’t think Stacie Halas should’ve been barred from teaching.

Halas is the California teacher whose position at Richard B. Haydock Elementary School was terminated after the administration found out that she had previously appeared in several adult films under the pseudonym Tiffany Six in order to get out of student debt. Apparently, she even mentions her employment in the California school system in one appearance, stating her worry that students might see her movies.

Initially, Stacie Halas had denied working in pornography, but this lie wound up hurting her in the long run. The Commission of Professional Competence ruled her unfit to teach and stated that her testimony “lacked credibility because it was tainted with numerous inconsistent, misleading and evasive statements and outright falsehoods.”

While I don’t think she should have lied, I can assume that it was because she knew that something along these lines would’ve happened. I also think adults don’t give kids enough credit, and they always talk about potential things that could be a “distraction” without realizing that when you’re 12 or 13 or 14, everything is a goddamn distraction. Hormones, bullying, sex, drinking, food, weight, human contact, words people may or may not have said to you in passing, whose locker is near yours, AIM profiles (ok, now I’m just going back too far, but you catch my drift). But a teacher with a “tainted” past? Yeah, kids will get over it. And if they don’t, teach them how to.

The subsequent media coverage has been somewhat frustrating, as well, with places like Huffington Post calling her past “embarrassing.” It’s that sort of attitude that makes sex work as stigmatized as it is, and until that inherent “sex workers have all just ‘made mistakes'” mindset has changed, people will continue viewing it as a taboo subject, which it really shouldn’t be in 2013.