Missouri district knew nothing of teacher’s porn past

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis-area school district that placed a high school teacher on leave after learning she acted in pornographic films in the 1990s had no idea she was fired by a Kentucky school district for the same reason, a district spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Parkway School District officials had called the woman’s previous employer in Kentucky to check her references before she was hired four years ago, and nothing was said about her losing her teaching job there because of her work in the porn industry, the spokeswoman said.

The teacher spoke to her principal Friday, and the district accepted her request to be placed on administrative leave for the rest of the school year. She had previously told the district that she didn’t plan to return in the fall.

The 38-year-old woman was going by the name Tericka Dye when Kentucky’s McCracken County school system learned she had appeared in adult films in the mid-1990s. She was suspended, and the district later declined to renew her teaching contract.

The case drew national attention after she appeared on television with Dr. Phil McGraw to discuss what happened. She now goes by a different name.

McCracken County schools spokeswoman Molly Goodman said Wednesday that she could only confirm the woman previously worked in the district and that her contract wasn’t renewed. She said she couldn’t comment on whether details of her past were disclosed to the St. Louis-area district.

At the time the films were made, Dye has said, she was living in California, working as an exotic dancer, suffering from untreated bipolar disorder and desperately in need of money. She later joined the Army and served in a military police unit at Fort Lewis, Wash., before going to college at Murray State University and becoming a teacher.

Some Kentucky parents supported Dye after her past became known, but McCracken County Schools Superintendent Tim Heller said at the time that her presence in the classroom “would cause a disruption to the educational process.”

She fought to get her job back, saying that without it she was forced to live off child support.

Parkway School District is not releasing the teacher’s name, but state documents confirm the woman now goes by Tera Myers. Her phone rang unanswered Wednesday. Her teacher certification report in Missouri said she attended Murray State University and previously lived in Benton, Ky., about 20 miles southeast of Paducah, where the McCracken County school district is based.

She told The Paducah Sun that she “absolutely 100 percent regrets” participating in the films.

Her former attorney, Mark Blankenship, said in February 2007 that she had found work in another state and no longer was seeking her old job. He wouldn’t say where she was hired, but Parkway School District said she had been working there since August 2007.

Blankenship didn’t immediately return a message Tuesday from The Associated Press. Someone who answered the phone at his office said he hasn’t represented the teacher for years.

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