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Teacher fired for porn work not allowed to return to classroom

January 15, 2013 |  7:42 pm

An Oxnard middle school teacher’s bid to return to the classroom after she was fired for appearing in pornographic films has been struck down by the state Office of Administrative Hearings.

The Commission on Professional Competence found Stacie Halas, 32, unfit to teach eighth-grade science at Haydock Intermediate School and ordered her dismissal. 

In a 47-page report dated Jan. 3, the commission said Halas’ work in the adult film industry hindered her ability to be a role model. The report also repeatedly took issue with her failure to be honest during the investigation.

Although Halas filmed the scenes between 2005 and 2006, before she was employed at the middle school, the ongoing availability of the videos will continue to hamper her ability to be an effective teacher, Judge Julie Cabos-Owen wrote.

Although Halas “failed to establish that she can be trusted as a role model for children or an example of redemption,” the report said, “the circumstances of this case most certainly demonstrate that one’s decisions and conduct, particularly continual deceit, must bring with them certain consequences.”

The Oxnard School District Board of Trustees fired Halas in April after students discovered the pornographic films she appeared in, a district spokesman said. Officials argued at the time that her past would continue to be a problem because students would be more focused on her adult films and not the teaching material.

Halas appealed the decision to the Commission on Professional Competence, which ruled against her after days of hearings in October.

“We were very pleased with the decision,” said Tom DeLapp, a spokesman for the Oxnard School District. “It vindicated and validated the arguments we’ve been making.”

Halas should have disclosed her past when she applied to work at the district, DeLapp said.

“She repeatedly and consciously had a pattern of lies and cover-ups when asked about it by her employers,” DeLapp said. “She would say ‘I didn’t do it’ or would create other lies to try and minimize the damage.”

Richard Schwab, Halas’ attorney, disagreed with the commission’s findings, in particular that his client was dishonest.

“I’m very disappointed,” Schwab said. “We believe Ms. Halas was very honest and forthright, but extremely nervous and embarrassed by her past. She’s obviously very disappointed and hurt.”

Halas presented an opportunity to teach others about redemption and overcoming obstacles, he said. At  the time she participated in the adult films, Halas faced financial strains and helped support her family, then went on to be a teacher.

“A lesson can still be learned, but it would be a lesson that if you make a mistake you’re not going to be able to dig yourself out of a hole,” Schwab said.

Halas has not made a decision on whether to appeal the commission’s order, Schwab said, but if she did it would go before the Ventura County Superior Court.

Halas is on administrative leave, but the Oxnard School District Board of Trustees is expected to make a decision on whether to revoke her pay Wednesday, said district Supt. Jeff Chancer.

“She continuously lied to us about just about everything,” Chancer said. “I think educators, police, firefighters and clergy should be held to a higher standard.”

RELATED:

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-- Adolfo Flores

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