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Stockton teacher fired for porn site from school laptop wants job back

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POSTED October 23, 2012 9:06 p.m.

STOCKTON  (AP) — A California teacher fired after she was accused of operating pornographic websites from a school-issued laptop is fighting to get her job back in hearings that began this week.

An attorney for Heidi Kaeslin argued Monday before a Stockton administrative law judge that the Lincoln Unified School District crafted disconnected events "into a theme that simply didn't happen" when they fired her last year.

According to attorney Tom Driscoll, Kaeslin's participation in the websites was brief and her role wasn't pornographic.

Driscoll likened topless photos of her on a boat on the Sacramento Delta as "just breasts, a la National Geographic." She allegedly was involved with the now-defunct websites from late 2010 until at least April 2011.

Kaeslin is neither immoral nor unfit to teach, Driscoll said. Misleading evidence includes a boudoir photography book she made as an anniversary gift for her husband, he said. Photos of her naked children found on the computer were typical photos that parents take of toddlers, Driscoll said.

Lincoln Unified counters that Kaeslin, 36, engaged in unprofessional and immoral conduct. The district accuses Kaeslin of keeping thousands of pornographic and erotic images on her school-issued laptop, then lying about her activities when administrators questioned her. The district was subject to embarrassment when the story hit the Internet, the district has maintained.

"If you were to Google her name today, you would find there are still over 10,000 live hits," attorney Marlene Sacks said, adding that Kaeslin "set an appalling example for a teacher" and that her character is "so fundamentally flawed" she cannot return to the classroom.

The three-member panel will decide the issue after hearing from an estimated 15 witnesses. It can be appealed to San Joaquin County Superior Court.


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