Former Gay Porn Star Allowed to Teach Again
Shawn Loftis, perhaps better known under his gay porn star handle Colin O'Neal, will be allowed to teach in Florida after being fired for having an adult film past, LA Weekly reported.
Loftis, 36, will also be eligible to apply for a permanent position as a teacher but will have to stay on probation for two years.
Loftis was a substitute teacher at Nautilus Middle School in Miami Beach, Fla., and was fired in early 2011 for participating, directing and producing adult gay movies, including the award-winning video series "Colin O'Neal's World of Men." The video's website was discovered by the school's principle, Allyn Bernstein.
Although Loftis did nothing illegal he told the LA Weekly that, "This is my past and I left it behind. I can use my experiences in life to teach kids. The key point is that they said when you go back to the classroom and a student brings this up to you, you will be able to handle that. I thought that was highly progressive of them."
Lofits is a graduate of Florida International University and studied international relations with a concentration on the Middle East. He was also a citizen reporter for CNN iReport.
"Adult performers are often judged to be immoral by American society, with no real basis in fact," said Joanne Cachapero, membership director of the Free Speech Coalition, the lobbying organization for the adult-film industry. "I saw a video interview with Shawn, where he stated that the judgment of school officials against him was almost like implying that somehow, because of his background, he is some sort of pedophile. I think Shawn is right when he says that.
"It seems that for adult performers, you are always judged guilty without any opportunity to prove your "innocence," and that you're not allowed to pursue non-industry occupations despite being skilled and professional," she added. "That is job discrimination, in my opinion."
In a similar case, an English teacher and crew coach at one of the best schools in Massachusetts was put on paid leave for his gay X-rated past after Boston's Fox 25 broke the story.
Kevin Hogan was a teacher at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School but was removed when Fox discovered that he had starred in gay porn films under the name "Hytch Cawke." The school did a criminal background check in Massachusetts and California, where Hogan had previously been living. The school also pointed out that they received flawless references. Additionally, Fox News admitted that he had done nothing illegal.
An even more sensational case was that of Jeffrey Dion Bruton. The muscular blond was a huge porn star and physical education teacher at a Virginia high school. He had also been married. The bisexual teacher was relieved of his duties after the discovery of his second career.