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Teacher Who Lost Job Over Porn Films Says She Deserves to Get Her Job Back

A Kentucky teacher who lost her job when it was revealed she had starred in a series of porn flicks a dozen years ago says she deserves to get her job back.

"I didn’t do anything criminal, I did something stupid, but I didn’t hurt anybody except myself. They treated me like I was a criminal," said Tericka Dye.

Dye, 33, was a science teacher and volleyball coach in good standing at Reidland High School in Paducah, Ky. But in April of 2006, it's rumored that several students got their hands on a copy of a video Dye was in, and a resource officer at the high school notified the superintendent. Officials verified that it was, in fact, Dye on the tape.

School officials immediately suspended Dye, banned her from school property, and as a non-tenured teacher, told her soon after that her contract would not be renewed. She didn't receive a public hearing on her dismissal because she got paid for the duration of her contract.

Dye's attorney, Mark Blankenship, argues that the school district didn't give her a fair shot, and that's one of the reasons he encouraged her to re-apply to get her teaching position back.

"The school claimed that students would be too disrupted by the knowledge of her past, and that her classroom would be unmanageable, but all that is speculation," Blankenship said. "We think there were students who knew about the tape as early as December, and she wasn't having any problems. They should at least give her a chance."

Nancy Waldrop, assistant superintendent for the school district, told the Associated Press that Dye's history will have no bearing on whether she is re-hired, but she has concerns that the students may be distracted by the adult-film discovery if she were to return.

"Our concern is not what happened so many years ago," Waldrop said. "But we can't have our schools disrupted now."

Blankenship argues that Tericka did a great job of teaching the children at Reidland High School, and could be a positive role model for children based on the fact that she overcame a troubled past and became a success.

"Tericka had a rough hand dealt to her. She had an alcoholic father and basically raised herself. She also suffered from bipolar disorder," Blankenship said. "Despite the fact that she overcame it and made something of herself, her past has become such a weight around her neck that she can't get away from it."

Dye said many students look up to her because they can relate to her rough upbringing and the struggles she has had to face.

"Students know that I was one of them, as opposed to a lot of teachers who come across as holier than thou. I can be a shining example to kids of someone who overcame their mistakes," she added.

In her early twenties, the single mother filmed several adult movies under the stage name "Rikki Anderson." Later, she joined the Army and used the GI Bill to attend college, where she graduated at the top of her class.

Blankenship said Dye has received a great deal of support from parents, kids and the religious community.

"She never broke the law. If morality is used as a basis for holding somebody back, it seems to me we’d all be guilty of some kind of immorality," Blankenship said. "They should just give her a chance."

National attention toward her case led to Dye's Dec. 6 appearance on the talk show, 'Dr. Phil.'

On the show, host Phil McGraw described pornography as the 'sleaziest, worst industry,' but also posed the question: "Isn't part of one of the things we do in this country is we say, 'If you fall down, get up. Dust yourself off. Make better choices. Do a better job, and make something out of yourself to become a contributing member of society?'"

More than half of the audience stood when McGraw asked if they would be comfortable with Dye teaching their children. Dye said McGraw told her to, "just keep fighting, keep moving forward."

"You can screw up and you can come from nothing and you can fix things but you have to work for it," said Dye. "It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it and I changed my life. I think I'm proof that anybody can change their life."