Should Moonlight Porn Exclude School Employment?

By Jason Menard

I must have gone to the wrong schools. At least, to the best of my knowledge, we didn’t have anyone like Samantha Ardente in our hallways – and now it looks like Etchemins High School won’t either.

Ardente (her stage name) worked as a clerical worker at the high school. That’s by day. It seems she also has a side project: a porn star.

And now that the secret’s out, Ardente is sitting at home, suspended without pay, waiting while the school board determines whether she can keep her job. But we have to ask ourselves why? After all, she wasn’t recruiting students to the set and she wasn’t using the school for filming scenes. In fact, nobody knew of her extracurricular activities – and she seemingly had gone to great efforts to separate the two lives – until a student recognized her from one of the films and asked her for her autograph.

By the way, when we say high school in Quebec, we’re talking Secondaire 1-5 – equivalent to Grades 7-11 in the other Canadian provinces. So at best this kid was 16 – yet there’s been no questioning as to how little Jimmy is so familiar with Quebecois porn stars.

If Ardente did anything wrong, it was that she didn’t go to the school’s administration once she was found out. She refused the autograph request and asked the kid to keep quiet about her secret. And, of course, he did what most popularity-seeking high school boys would do – he blabbed to all his friends, and it eventually got back to the administration. So the school’s now looking into whether Ardente should be fired.

There’s been a heated debate for the past day in Quebec about whether or not she should be fired. There have been headlines like “Porno and School Don’t Mix.” There’s a Facebook page for those who support her retention at the school.

I understand why she probably will be fired. After all, despite our supposedly free society, there are certain factions who will be very upset just at the fact that she’s in porn, regardless of her role. That alone is enough to cast her aside. Plus, by asking the kid to continue to cover up her secret and not go to the administration, Ardente has given the board an easy out.

One thing bothers me about this debate: she’s a clerical worker. She’s not involved in teaching the kids. To the best of my knowledge, she hasn’t recruited any of these kids into the porn world, nor has she “shown her resumé” to any of the students or staff.

Do we, as a society, have a right to decide what’s a “proper” job and what’s not? Who gets to sit in moral judgment about what this woman does in her off hours? She does adult films. So are we to assume that she’s morally bankrupt and corrupt — that she’s just a ticking time bomb waiting to use and abuse some poor innocent student simply because of her night job? Has she shown any evidence of that behaviour?

It’s a very slippery slope when you start deciding who can work where based on what they might do, one day. Would you fire a model employee after finding out that both his parents – and six generations of grandparents before that – were alcoholics? You know, because he might fall off the wagon he’s never need to go on?

That’s what they’re doing to Ardente. She’s been tarred and feathered (and that’s a figure of speech – I haven’t seen her film Serial Abusers 2. After all, I missed out on Serial Abusers and I don’t want to be lost…) simply because porn star equals bad.

I understand wanting to protect your kids. I have two of my own and it’s a daily worry looking at what they may encounter in their lives. But I’m worried about the type of people they’ll meet on a day-to-day basis – not what their jobs are.

I’d prefer to measure people by the quality of their behaviour, not based upon something they may do (or have done in the past) for work. I know people who have worked as exotic dancers years ago – and I would trust them with my life and my kids’ lives. I know people who are doctors and lawyers and I wouldn’t trust them to watch my grass grow, much less watch my kids.

I’m guessing it will be hard for this woman to go back to work. After all, kids can be cruel. But if she’s been a solid employee up to this point, why should there be an issue now? Or are we going to start teaching our kids that what you are is far more important than who you are.

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