In an ideal world, I’d like anyone who ever teaches my daughter to have undergone extensive training, counseling, and to have done nothing in their spare time other than volunteer for the blind, poor and terminally ill. I’d like them to live alone with many cats and watch Wheel of Fortune at night before getting into bed alone at 7:30 with a good book and a quilt sewn by their grandmother.
In reality, I’d just like the record of whoever teaches my daughter in the future to be void of any violent crimes and to really love and appreciate that they have the privilege of attempting to turn young minds on to learning each day. No one is perfect, and as long as they have the qualifications, a clean drug test and have never appeared on America’s Most Wanted, I’m good.
Which is why I’m scratching my heard that Tericka Dye, or Tara Myers, will not be in a classroom for the rest of the school year because of activities from 15 years ago.
She recently resigned from Parkway North school in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri — though she will paid for the remainder of the year — after being placed on an administrative leave “out of respect for her privacy and that of her family” when a student asked about her past, in which roughly 15 years ago she appeared in one or more pornographic movies while she lived in California.
Dye, 38, underwent background and reference checks before she was hired in 2007, although appearing in adult films is not illegal so it didn’t show up anywhere. Administrators say they were not aware of her past film work, in which she appeared under the name Rikki Andersin.
A year before working at Parkway North she was suspended from working at another school with pay and ultimately fired because the superintendent was concerned her presence would be a distraction for the same reason. At that time, Dye said her decision more than a decade prior was the worst choice she’d ever made, according to KVFS.
“I’m a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who’s made a lot of bad decisions in life,” she said in May of 2006. “Anybody who’s been in my classroom could tell you how much I love teaching and how much I love these students, and that should be what matters more than anything in my past.”
At a time when good teachers are hard to come by, it’s hard for me to understand why someone is being penalized for (legal) sins of her youth. While I can see how news of her past could be a distraction, I think there’s a larger lesson, which is basically there’s nothing that can be done that can be undone with hard and good work. Find me someone with no blemish on their record and I’d argue they’re probably lying.
If Dye is really good at what she does in the classroom, I hope she lands at another school soon that is full of people with open minds and a desire to learn.
Would you care if you child’s teacher had a history in pornographic films?