Hi there. joysann here.
It’s been a few weeks since I picked up The Huffington Post report about another teacher being outed as an erotica writer. Much like Judy Mays was a couple years ago, students somehow learned that their Hoover High School English teacher Carol Ann Eastman wrote a self-published erotic romance under the nom de plume of Deena Bright. Unlike that incident, this one doesn’t have a comfortable conclusion. I promptly purchased her book (which turned out to be pretty darn good!)
The Canton Rep published the story, and followed up with a report of the North Canton City Schools Board of Education Meeting. The Ohio teacher was caught in the fallout of parents protesting the simple idea that a teacher would be so irresponsible as to write an erotic novel. I particularly like “I haven’t read it but…”
Carol Ann was suspended with pay while an investigation was done to be sure there were no criminal violations, and she was disciplined for using school computers for personal use against policy, which was poor judgment on her part, but no part of the controversy. She is back to her teaching, but I suspect that life is pretty uncomfortable for her. Through email I requested an interview with Carol Ann, but she declined, saying she is unable to discuss the matter at this time. I’d hate to jeopardize her job even further, so I’ll accept that, but censorship in any form is disturbing.
When I did a web search for Deena Bright I came across several blog articles on the matter, but here’s my favorite. It’s Swedish blog written by an American writer, Kevin Frato, who just happens to have attended that very school many years ago. I find his acerbic observations amusing, if not enlightening (I live in Ohio).
I’m saddened that someone’s career can be jeopardized by the narrow-mindedness of a few people. I hope Deena Bright continues to write. There are perfectly normal, responsible adult erotica readers out here that want to finish the story started in Schooled.