Friday, May 06, 2011

Teacher Fired For Sex Ad

Long-time readers of this blog will know that I'm a big proponent of the belief that what teachers do on their "own time" is of no concern to their employers (school districts). Unlike when I was in the military, I do not now consider myself a teacher 24 hours a day. A state commission agreed with me, but unfortunately, a state appeals court disagrees with me:
A state appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a San Diego schoolteacher who was fired for posting a sexually explicit ad and photos in the "men seeking men" section of Craigslist.

Frank Lampedusa's firing had been overruled by a state commission that said the ad was unrelated to his ability to teach middle-school students. But the appeals court disagreed, saying Lampedusa's conduct showed he was unfit to teach and "serve as a role model" for his students.

A teacher's private life can constitute grounds for dismissal if it demonstrates "indecency and moral indifference," said the Fourth District Court of Appeal in San Diego. The court issued the 3-0 ruling last month and published it Tuesday as a statewide precedent for future cases.

I consider this a travesty. Whose morals and what morality, especially in California? I addressed this just 2-1/2 months ago, and the same scenarios I presented in that post cry out for answers in light of the current ruling.

The guy was seeking a consenting adult with whom he could participate in an entirely legal activity--and for this he was fired. It's been ruled that his behavior makes him ineligible to be a role model; is the only "good" gay a "celibate" gay? I've read scores of comments, and many indicate that the problem was his posting a picture. If he hadn't posted a picture of his face, but emailed it before meeting, would he still be fired? I guess my question is, what was the immoral behavior? Was it placing the ad, in which case government-decided morality would be that he should remain celibate, or was it the posting of a picture in public?

Again, my belief is that absent inappropriate classroom conduct or conduct clearly related to teaching children, what teachers do in their off-duty time is, for the most part, of no business to anyone else.

I continue to be floored by the idiocy around this issue. I'm going to take to wearing a halo when I get back to work.


maxutils said...

You're entirely right . . .but to add, any kid who saw that picture had knowingly violated craigslist policy, as they would be underage, in an adult section.

mrelliott said...

AND YET...this country tolerated a president who had an affair with an intern WHILE at work in the oval office! Why, why, why are teachers held to such standards when other professions are not?

I often said they should start handing out a nun's habit to new teachers when they're hired. But, I'll take one from you Darren, and opt for a halo too.

Ellen K said...

I would agree that what a teacher does on his or her own time is their own business as long as it is legal. I wonder how many of the same critics would champion this guy if he solicited a student. I wonder how many critics would surface if he was an attractive female teacher.

Linda said...

This really fries my backside!

On one hand, being gay and wanting to have a sex life is hunky-dory. We have to have special assemblies and workshops to "support and validate" those people who are just being who they are destined to be.

However, don't indulge in that lifestyle in any manner that might be seen by a child (however inappropriate that setting might be for a child to be in), or you'll lose that job.

Can we say "hypocrisy"?

I'm not a fan of forcing the "gay is just another lifestyle" on the young and impressionable. However, I strongly support an adult indulging in activities that are lawful being left alone. Without professional penalties.