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Florida: Former gay porn star can seek teaching certificate

A former gay porn star has won back the right to pursue a teaching certificate in Florida, where he was fired from his substitute teaching work.

Shawn Loftis was fired from his part-time teaching job at several southeastern Florida middle schools after administrators learned that he’d had an acting career in gay porn under the name Collin O’Neal.

Loftis lost his job and also, in November 2011, lost in his quest to pursue a teaching certificate. The Florida Department of Education denied him a certificate citing “gross immorality” and finding he engaged in “personal conduct which seriously reduces his effectiveness as an employee of the school board.”

But Loftis recently won an appeal with the Florida Education Practices Commission, which said he could pursue certification while on probation for two years. He must also undergo a mental evaluation.

The victory, however, doesn’t mean Loftis is guaranteed teaching work, according to the Miami Herald.

Miami-Dade schools spokesman John Schuster told the newspaper, “It’s important not to confuse certification with employment. Having a teaching certificate does not guarantee employment or reemployment. And school districts are under no obligation to provide employment to any individual just because he or she has a teaching certificate.”

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