"QUESTION OF THE DAY," blares Joe Weisenthal
Business Insider headline: "Should Being A Former Prostitute Preclude
This Woman From Teaching In Public School?" He is writing of Melissa
Petro, an elementary-school teacher in the Bronx who turns out to be a
"former hooker and stripper," according to the New York Post story
breaking the news. Weisenthal is fascinated by the parental reaction: do concerned parents "have any ground," he wonders, for their anger?
her prior profession preclude her from teaching third-graders art? As
far as we're concerned, the school system might have used that
information before hiring her, but at this point, it seems like there's
nothing they can do.
But what if the teacher has been more or less advertising her former life? New York Magazine's Chris Rovzar
points to the parts of the Post story which says "shockingly up front
about her past," and chronicles it, digging up the links to which the
Post story only vaguely refers:
There's this story from years ago, about how stripping led to more illegal activities. There's this blog post from over the summer
about how some of her colleagues are beginning to Google her. And
finally, in case you might think there is another Melissa Petro who is
just tarnishing an innocent schoolteacher's name, there's the video
here where she talks about how being a sex worker is like being
a teacher, and then goes on to read a story about being a stripper in
Mexico and then almost becoming the lesbian lover of another stripper.
Finally, as though it hadn't been clear enough, Petro made her final bid for attention with a Huffington Post blog.
The entry opened with: "From October 2006 to January 2007 I accepted
money in exchange for sexual services I provided to men I met online in
what was then called the 'erotic services' section of Craigslist.org."
Rovzar closes with a slightly different question: is
there any way the children of these outraged parents didn't already
know about this? "As in, none of them Googled their teacher to read
about her sexploits? ... Knowing kids and the internet," he decides,
this seems unlikely.
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