Wednesday, January 30, 2013
About three weeks ago I wrote an article in response to the news report that the Pastor who was slated to give the benediction at the President’s inaugural had withdrawn because a sermon he preached 15 years ago in which he condemned homosexual behavior as wrong surfaced on the web.
In that article I cautioned our young people who use the web to say anything, and show almost anything to be careful because in this technological age everything and anything you do could be held against you. I explained that what their parents did while growing up was localized to the few people and place where they were at the time.
Now in the age of technology what you put on the web lives on almost forever. It has a life of its own even after you have matured, changed your ways, married, had children and become a respectable adult.
I was not surprised therefore to discover in the news that a California school teacher was fired and later a panel of judges ruled upon her appeal that she was unfit to teach in the middle school or any school in the district because she starred in a pornographic movies for an eight-month period before becoming a science teacher at the middle school. They found her behavior incompatible with being the role model she is supposed to be as a teacher.
One judge said that her past matters in an age where technology makes porn easy to access and hard to bury. An assistant principal said her effectiveness in the classroom had been compromised.
It might be of interest to some parents and others to know that it was students who accessed the porn and brought it to the attention of the teachers … and these were middle school children. Some people were wondering what middle school children were doing watching porn, but that is a topic for another time.
This is an opportunity for teachers and parents to warn their children, teenagers and young adults of the potential damage they could do to themselves later when they are more grown, more morally responsible and more protective and concerned about their reputation than they are now. Many of our young people feel comfortable doing questionable things as long as their parents don’t find out.
Many of the parents probably won’t know now, but that hardly matters because the information they share is available to the world.
Something a friend has on his or her cell phone, a compromising picture, damaging words, illegal or inappropriate behavior, or confessions that are now secret can potentially hurt you down the road. All it takes is a simple download. Things parents never dreamed that their “innocent” girl or boy did, suddenly becomes public and not just the perpetrator but family and friends are hurt.
Being careful not to do anything that could later bring you hurt is one way to approach this; but living according to the moral values that you were taught is even a better approach. We all make mistakes, but unfortunately some mistakes can cost us.
If this teacher who lost her job is telling the truth that she hit hard times and starring in a porn movie was the best way she could provide for herself and her son I feel sorry for her. But moral choices we make have consequences we have to live with; although she has made an effort to turn her life around, thanks to technology it won’t be easy. She will be excluded from a number of jobs even if she became a professing Christian tomorrow morning.