“Look Honey! I found some videos of Carol’s nice band teacher on the intern—OH MY GOD!!!!!
As you may know, Ethics Alarms does its best to catalogue examples of the Naked Teacher Principle and all its related variations. The NTP holds that teachers who allow naked photos of themselves to become available to their sub-college level students over the internet may not credibly claim to be mistreated when their schools no longer wish to employ them. The elusive element is where the line should be drawn. Naked pictures from 25 years earlier? Non-naked pictures that are still sexually provocative? Is the line drawn before or after my personal favorite, the male teacher who is photographed painting canvases using his naked derriere and gonads as brushes, but with a bag over his head?
Wherever the line belongs, I expect no argument over Ethics Alarms’ conclusion that Kristin Sundman, formerly an assistant band teacher at Roosevelt High School in Kent, Ohio but also known as porn performer MelodyXXXTune, misses the cut. Under her web porn name, Kristin could be found on videos engaging in all sorts of activities that students should not be associating with their teachers and authority figures, like frolicking naked in a shower, masturbating and performing oral sex. If a teacher wants to moonlight in a field like this, she has an obligation to alert her school administrators so the school does not become embarrassed, get sued, or become the object of an investigation. Of course, informing the school will usually mean that the teacher won’t be teaching, but that’s a choice the school has the right to make.
To her credit, the 8 year veteran resigned shortly after the discovery of her second career got her placed on administrative leave.
There are reasonable exceptions to the Naked Teacher Principle, but if there are any to its sister Online Porn Star Teacher Principle, I don’t have the imagination to envision what it would be.
Good luck, Kristin.
Facts: New York Daily News
If you are good enough and valuable enough, do you deserve one of these?
A recent—and off-topic—comment caused me to begin thinking about “The King’s Pass,” #11 on the Ethics Alarms Rationalization hit parade,and perhaps the most perplexing of them all. The commenter referenced the 2010 discovery that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had inexplicably neglected to mention his activist wife’s annual income on his annual financial disclosure filings, meaning that he had filed a false affidavit and violated the law. Thomas claimed that he had made a careless mistake—for five years—and the matter was allowed to drop except for the angry agitating of the Anti-Clarence Thomas Furies, who are constantly searching for any way to get a conservative black justice off the Supreme Court short of assassination.
The episode had left a bad taste in my mouth, and I was happy to be reminded of it, bad mouth tastes being essential to triggering ethics alarms. I went back to read my post on the matter, and sure enough, I had followed the principle of rejecting The King’s Pass, and asserted that Thomas should be punished appropriately and formally…but that really ducked the question. Lawyers have lost their licenses to practice for single episodes of swearing to false information when it was far more obvious that a mistake had been made than in Thomas’s case, as when a hapless Maryland lawyer carelessly signed a legal document that had misrecorded his address. The logic of this no-tolerance ruling was that a lawyer, above all people, should never swear to a falsehood, and that doing so, even once, was a serious breach of duty calling into question his fitness to practice law. I think the penalty for this particular act was excessive—it is cited locally as a cautionary tale—but I agree with its underlying principle, which should apply with even more vigor when the lawyer in question is a judge, and not merely a judge, but a Supreme Court Justice.
From the New York Times:
“Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court acknowledged in filings released on Monday that he erred by not disclosing his wife’s past employment as required by federal law.
Justice Thomas said that in his annual financial disclosure statements over the last six years, the employment of his wife, Virginia Thomas, was “inadvertently omitted due to a misunderstanding of the filing instructions. To rectify that situation, Justice Thomas filed seven pages of amended disclosures listing Mrs. Thomas’s employment in that time with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy group, and Hillsdale College in Michigan, for which she ran a constitutional law center in Washington.” Continue reading
Will Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas be impeached because he failed to disclose his wife’s income, as required by Federal law, for at least five years? No.
Should he be? Probably not, though if it was proven that he intentionally used incorrect information, he could be found guilty of perjury. More likely is a civil penalty. In any event, his wife’s income isn’t a crucial piece of information in Thomas’s case, though his ideological enemies will argue otherwise. Such an omission is virtually never a cause for judicial discipline.
Is it a serious breach of his duties nonetheless? Yes. Continue reading