Theatre teacher fired for appearing in erotic films 40 years ago

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Unionist

voice of the damned wrote:

Well, I don't speak French. What was the exact wording of the dismissal? What exactly did they say that she had done that they didn't like?

They talked to her in July and said they weren't renewing her contract for the following term, because some students had found these films on the internet. They never gave her anything in writing. Essentially, they treated her like crap. She didn't understand why they were doing this.

Sorry, I don't have an English version of [url=http://atrium.brebeuf.qc.ca/direction-generale/2014/10/19/declaration-de... blog entry[/url] where the guy who terminated her replied to the storm of criticism, and given that he has now backed off and wants to rehire her, I'm not inclined to do a translation. I do note that 22 out of 23 comments, including by teachers and students, condemn his actions and explanation.

 

6079_Smith_W

Wow, so right after he judges, he points out that he isn't judging. Then in the same paragraph, does it again.

And hard to get everyone to agree? No kidding

Let me guess, M. April teaches the master class in deadpan satire.

 

Bacchus

So she wasnt fired per se, but her contract instead would not be renewed when it came up for re-signing?

lagatta

That is extremely common nowadays, when so many workers are precarious. It happened to me once. I was teaching ESL at one of those crappy private language schools (that treat their workers, who all hold degrees, like shit). I suddenly had "no hours". Fortunately I found another job at another, slightly less crappy place, but I had a chance encounter with one of the managers of the "school". She said that her colleague had said I was to get no more hours as he heard me handing over a translation of a CV to one of my adult students. Evidently this was "banned" though of course we had never been issued such a directive. I didn't translate his CV for money in any event; it was a favour as he had driven me home after I was teaching in the evening in the worst of our infamous Eastern Ontario- Western Québec Ice Storm, when there weren't even any buses running between the school and my house.

Much as I liked teaching English, French and Italian, it was a relief to get back on track and not have to do it any more. I liked my students, and teaching, but the working conditions were dreadful.

Bacchus

Contract instead of regular employment is all too common. I suffer from it myself

Pondering

I agree that contract work needs to be examined and is too widely used but in this case she was running an extra-curricular drama workshop not a regular class so I would expect that to be a limited contract.

swallow

Thanks for the blog entry, Unionist! A terribly jesuitical post, even though it's no longer a Jesuit school. Nice to see that the Brebeuf admin has identified by name the films they really, really do not want students to watch. 

So the admin concedes that she was "congediee" (why can't I do accents on babble?) so presumably we can put that red herring to bed. 

They make no judgment, she did not do her job badly, but the fact that the films are available online (as if there were no shops renting out films beforehand) "created an entirely new context that was not ideal for our students." So teh interwebz did it! 

Gonzaga

So Pondering, if I understand you correctly, the problem is that knowing an instructor at their school could be seen in erotic movies online makes it more likely that Brébeuf students would be exposed to online porn, and in particular at earlier ages. 

Well, I think that it's possible, and I agree that it wouldn't be good.

On the other hand, I'm not sure that this effect outweighs the potential benefits to the students (from my other post). Of course you can't measure potential harms and potential benefits, so you can't compare them. They occur in different spheres or categories and even apply to different students. 

But anyway I think that whole question is trumped by what firing her says to the students. To me it says that having appeared erotic films defines you. I don't think you can avoid sending kids that message. She did erotic films; she isn't fit to be around young people. Once a sex object; always a sex object; nothing but a sex object. That's a really, really bad message.   

Unionist

Just re-reading this thread and shaking my head at the medieval moralizing opinions expressed by some of our friends.

After the Brébeuf dinosaurs were forced by unanimous public opinion to offer her back her job, Laurent-Auger never returned. Instead, the lawyers reached a confidential settlement. She said she had no desire to go back under the circumstances. She is now writing a book, partly autobiographical, about her mother, herself, and her disabled daughter who died at the age of 27. She mother, Laurette Larocque, had to take a man's name in order to work in Radio-Canada radio in the 1940s. Her funeral was attended by 11,000 fans. Laurent-Auger figures she has about two more years of work on the book.

More [url=http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2016/01/17/lenseignante-congediee-a-tou....

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Gonzaga wrote:

So Pondering, if I understand you correctly, the problem is that knowing an instructor at their school could be seen in erotic movies online makes it more likely that Brébeuf students would be exposed to online porn, and in particular at earlier ages. 

Well, I think that it's possible, and I agree that it wouldn't be good.

On the other hand, I'm not sure that this effect outweighs the potential benefits to the students (from my other post). Of course you can't measure potential harms and potential benefits, so you can't compare them. They occur in different spheres or categories and even apply to different students. 

But anyway I think that whole question is trumped by what firing her says to the students. To me it says that having appeared erotic films defines you. I don't think you can avoid sending kids that message. She did erotic films; she isn't fit to be around young people. Once a sex object; always a sex object; nothing but a sex object. That's a really, really bad message.   

In other words, the people that fired her would have fired Mary Magdalene.

lagatta

The story of "Jean Desprez" (Laurette Laroque) is sad and fascinating as well. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Desprez_%28journaliste%29

There is no English version of this Wikipedia entry.

http://reseaupatrimoine.ca/cyberexpositions/regard-sur-des-familles-dici...

I do hope she got a fat settlement from those supercilious bourgeois fuckers and is enjoying her creative pursuits.

Handslap to head for this happening in 2014-16, but I guess it isn't any more of a blast from the Grande Noirceur past than the fellows at the rehab centre being sent back to the streets or to the slammer because of the Couillard government's disgusting attempt to save a bit of cash short-term at the expense of the most hard-up in society... (I submitted a story about the centre closing in the Québec thread Struggle against privatization, user fees and austerity: http://rabble.ca/babble/qu%C3%A9bec/struggle-against-privatization-user-... )

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Legislated puritan morality is something from the 19th century. Morality is an opinion. Opinions should never become laws. This woman should sue and I'm glad she did,there was no other recourse. And shame on those here at babble with a moral-authority delusion complex.Not suitable for a 'progressive' message board.

swallow

Fascinating updates and stories! 

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