OXNARD, Calif. (AP) - A middle-school science teacher fired after students learned she had appeared in pornographic movies had hoped not just to get her job back, but to set a precedent for people looking to escape an embarrassing personal history.
A three-judge commission put a decisive stop to both, saying firmly and unanimously that Stacie Halas should not be in the classroom.
"We were hoping we could show you could overcome your past," Halas lawyer Richard Schwab said Tuesday. "I think she's representative of a lot of people who may have a past that may not involve anything illegal or anything that hurts anybody."
Judge Julie Cabos-Owen said such a past matters in an age when technology makes porn easy to access and hard to bury.
"Although her pornography career has concluded, the ongoing availability of her pornographic materials on the Internet will continue to impede her from being an effective teacher and respected colleague," Cabos-Owen said in the 46-page decision issued Friday by the Commission on Professional Competence.
Halas, 32, was continually deceitful about her nine-month career in porn before she went to work at the school, the judges said.
Schwab said Halas "was being honest and forthright, but was embarrassed and humiliated by her past experience in the adult industry."
Halas was fired in April from her job as a science teacher at Haydock Intermediate School in Oxnard after online videos of her in porn were discovered by students and teachers.
Student claims that the teacher was moonlighting as a porn star were initially dismissed after school officials said they couldn't find any images of her on the Internet - but they were using the school's computers, which don't allow access to porn.
Teachers then showed administrators downloads of Halas' sex videos from their smartphones.
In hearings, former assistant principal Wayne Saddler testified that at the start of a sex video, Halas talked about being a teacher and he felt her effectiveness in the classroom had been compromised.
After rumors of her performance surfaced, profanity was etched on Halas' classroom window, a teacher testified.
Schwab has said Halas did not star in pornographic movies while teaching in any district. He said she took parts only during an eight-month period from 2005 to 2006 because of financial problems after her boyfriend abandoned her.
District superintendent Jeff Chancer applauded the commission's ruling.
Halas' decision to "engage in pornography was incompatible with her responsibilities as a role model for students," Chancer said in a statement.
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