— ItsCleoLive.com (@ItsCleoLive) March 25, 2015
The woman on the left in the photo above is an adult webcam model who goes by the screen name MelodyXXXTune; the photo was taken as part of the promotion for her March 25 appearance on ItsCleoLive.com, a wildly NSFW Web site and live cam show.
It was revealed last week that the screen name MelodyXXXTune was a not-so-subtle reference to the model’s day job as the assistant band director at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent, Ohio. When the news broke, 31-year-old Kristin Sundman was placed on administrative leave, and she resigned over the weekend. Kent City School District Superintendent George Joseph announced that in light of Sundman’s resignation, the district was dropping its investigation into her online activities.
It’s pretty remarkable that Sundman was able to maintain her dual life for so long. She was just about to enter her ninth year as assistant band director, and while it is unclear how long she was also working as an adult Webcam model, she had a fairly extensive online presence. In addition to ItsCleoLive.com, she also apparently appeared on MyFreeCams.com, updated fans with explicit photos on Twitter, and posted her content on so-called tube sites like PornHub, Thumbzilla, JustPorno, etc. One adult news blog reported [NSFW] that she also appeared at an Exxxotica convention in 2013. (MyFreeCams.com is one of the leading sponsors of the Exxxotica conventions, which bills itself as “The Largest Event In The USA Dedicated To Love & Sex.”)
Given her widespread exposure online, it is hard to believe that Sundman could realistically have expected that her adult Webcam work would remain undiscovered. As is so often the case, her adult modeling came to the attention of school officials through an anonymous tip. There is no way to know if the tipster was an adult or one of her students.
Since resigning, Sundman has shut down her sexually-explicit Twitter account and has asked the various online adult sites to remove her content. However, numerous images of her sexually explicit adult Webcam activity remain online and are easily locatable using either her name or her former Twitter ID, which raises questions about whether she will ever be able to work as an educator again. As is the case with many other educators, she will long grapple with the consequences of her self-imposed Scarlet Letter.
This type of situation raises a couple of different long-term questions. First, will it ever become professionally acceptable for someone to work both in education and in the adult industry in any capacity? There have been a couple of instances recently where teachers did not lose their jobs following the discovery of some type of adult online activity. Given the sweeping changes that the Internet is having on social mores, it may be that attitudes in this area will shift over time.
Second, will incidents of this sort help spur the use of facial recognition in hiring? We are on the cusp of an era in which the use of facial recognition technology by governments, corporations, and social media will be increasingly common. Using facial recognition to vet job applicants raises a whole host of issues, but I’m sure that at least a few school districts would be happy to find out ahead of time that their prospective hire is actively moonlighting on adult Web sites. Otherwise, as Teddy Roosevelt was fond of saying, the student may be “dee-lighted” to find out what their teacher is doing in his or her spare time.