Education

High School Newspaper Runs Profile On Student Working In The Porn Industry

SHUTTERSTOCK/Kristina Kokhanova

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

A California high school newspaper ran a profile on an 18-year-old student who works in the porn industry Friday, following censorship accusations against the district by a teacher.

The profile, published in The Bruin Voice, follows Caitlin Fink’s journey into the adult entertainment industry and the challenges she faced academically and financially. She sells erotic pictures of herself, can participate in professional pornographic scenes and is a verified member on the website Pornhub.

The Lodi Unified School District (LUSD) wanted to review the article before deciding on whether it should be published, The Associated Press reported. However, paper adviser Kathi Duffel accused school officials of censorship.

School newspaper stories may face restraints if they are libelous or slanderous, encourage unlawfulness or contains obscenity.

LUSD Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer said Duffel could be punished “up to and including dismissal” if she denied the review in an April 11 letter, the news agency reported.

Pictured is a depiction of online porn. SHUTTERSTOCK/ Stenko Vlad

Pictured is a depiction of online porn. SHUTTERSTOCK/ Stenko Vlad

Duffel’s attorney Matthew Cate found the article did not violate education codes. Lawyer Paul Gant, who represented LUSD, said the district would not stop the story from publication but added the article could have been reviewed in a legal manner.

LUSD did not agree with Cate’s legal opinion in its entirety and was “disappointed” over not receiving a chance to review the story. (RELATED: Utah Mom Facing Charges After Allegedly Giving Teens Lap Dances At Birthday Party)

“Moreover, because the District has been denied an opportunity to preview the article, the District does not endorse it,” LUSD said in a statement Wednesday.

Duffel said the story was not about glamorizing the porn industry.

“I’m 18, what I’m doing is legal, and I don’t see why everyone is making such a big deal out of it,” Fink said, the AP reported.

Fink added that she wanted others to be educated about the reality of the adult entertainment world, according to The Stockton Record.

“People think sex work isn’t work but it is work, you’re just taking off your clothes,” Fink said, The Record reported.

Bailey Kirkeby, who wrote the piece in the Bear Creek High School paper, was “very proud” of the story, she told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Lodi Unified School District is very pleased that the process we have been engaged in regarding the Bear Creek High School newspaper has resulted in an article that meets legal requirements,” the district said in a statement Friday.

“We know that these experiences regarding controversies and debates help prepare our students to be successful as they pursue future efforts of higher education and career,” it added. “We take our responsibility to our community very seriously and we will always be diligent in our efforts when student safety is at issue.”

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