MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo.—Ex-convicts and ex-porn stars have at least one thing in common: They can't catch a break in the outside world unless they're very lucky—and they usually have to hide their previous identities. Thus Jerry Butler found himself driving a school bus in Brooklyn, Annette Haven was reportedly running an antique shop, Rene Bond became a school teacher in Northern California, and Dale DaBone became a Hollywood stuntman during a recent break from XXX.
For the most part, female stars have changed their makeup and hair color and settled down to a life of anonymity in the suburbs—and such was the post-porn life of one Tericka Dye, better known to the porn world as Rikki Andersin.
Dye, 38, only did four adult movies—three in 1997 and one in 1999—though those scenes also appeared in seven compilations. She appeared in one all-girl title, Rug Munchers, and two vignette/gonzo titles where she got DP'd: Tight Asses and Double Your Pleasure Double Your Fun. Then, in '99, she wound up in a Thomas Zupko production, Pussy Crimes, but it's unclear what she did in that movie. Whatever it was, the review site CAVR.com described it as "poor quality and very weird." In 2006, she told TV's Dr. Phil McGraw that the reason she did porn in the first place was that she was a homeless mother of two, and it seemed like a legitimate way to make a living.
After leaving porn, Dye earned her bachelor's degree in teaching from Murray State University in Kentucky, and also at some point served in the Army at Ft. Lewis, Wash. This led to a teaching position at Reidland High School in Paducah, Ky., until she was forced out when a student managed to find one of her adult movies and showed it to fellow classmates. Reportedly, Dye enjoyed wide support from both fellow teachers and the parents of her students, but the school district nonetheless declined to renew her contract for the following year.
"I was not who I am today," she told Dr. Phil after the firing. "I've gotten on medication. I've found God. I've gotten an education. I've done everything I could possibly do to prove that I’m a different person now. … As a teacher, I can exemplify what it means to change."
And change she did! Dye changed her name to Tera Myers and in 2007 applied for a teaching position at the Parkway North High School in Maryland Heights, Mo., a stone's throw from St. Louis. She spent four years at Parkway North teaching science and coaching the volleyball team.
But the internet reared its ugly head once again, as one of her students found photos of her on a porn site, which quickly led to her being placed on administrative leave—and since she won't be allowed back in a classroom again, it's the equivalent of being fired.
And once again, support for Dye/Myers has been widespread.
"Parents of America, let me let you in on a little secret," Jeanne Sager wrote on the blog The Stir. "Your teenagers have heard of pornography. So can we please leave Ms. Tericka Dye alone in a high school classroom from here on out? ... [I]f parents are honest with themselves, their problem isn't that their kid's teacher was in porn. It's that their kids figured it out. Because, let's say it again, kids know about porn! In fact, in a survey in 2007, 42 percent of teenagers copped to viewing pornographic materials online. That's nearly half the teens in America doing something they shouldn't."
While true, that's not the real problem. The real problem is that adult performers, even after they retire, are treated as second-class citizens, and it appears that no matter how much education they get nor how good they are at their chosen profession, when the past resurfaces, America's innate Puritanism comes out, always to the ex-performer's detriment. It's unclear whether Dye/Myers' teachers union will come to her defense (or if the school district even has a teachers union), but it's a sad day when someone who hasn't even committed a crime can become the victim of such narrow-minded thinking.