OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — Educators must decide the fate of a junior high teacher placed on paid administrative leave amid claims that she appeared in a pornographic video.
The teacher at Richard B. Haydock Intermediate School in Oxnard, whose name was not released, went on leave Monday. A school site administrator believes she's the one seen in the video, Oxnard School District Superintendent Jeff Chancer said Wednesday.
The teacher's contract does not contain a moral turpitude clause, but Chancer said the California Education Code outlines employment conditions that could lead to her being disciplined or fired.
"We're trying to determine if there's a nexus on what she does on her own time and what she does in the classroom," he said.
Officials said no district students were seen in the video.
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. The investigation was quickly restarted, however, when other teachers showed them downloads from smartphones, and the officials realized the school computer system blocked access to sex sites.
"I saw parts of the video," Chancer said. "It's hardcore pornography."
On Tuesday, the district sent a letter to parents of students at all three of its junior high schools, asking that their children not search Internet sex sites for the teacher's image.
"'It has been alleged that one of our teachers is depicted in at least one pornographic video and possibly others on the Internet," Chancer said in the letter.
Asked if teenage curiosity might actually be piqued by such a notice, he said, "I don't know."
Chancer wouldn't say if the teacher acknowledged or denied it was her image on the video. He also declined to give her age or other information, saying that involved a personnel matter.
The Oxnard Police Department was also notified, but spokeswoman Monica Munoz said there is no criminal investigation.
The allegations first came to light when student rumors swept the Southern California campus on Friday, the Ventura County Star reported.
After their initial investigation, school officials sent an email to staff members reporting the rumors were unfounded. That same day, however, the two teachers came forward and showed administrators the link on their cellphones.
School officials met with other teachers, and Chancer said they were satisfied with the district's response.