In small town America it is a strange thing indeed when the national media spotlight shines down main street. My little burg of North Canton Ohio has found itself staring into that light like the proverbial deer in the headlights on a few occasions in my lifetime but this latest incident takes the cake.
Seems a high school teacher, a teacher whom my daughters have attended classes with, a teacher who is well-respected in the community, a teacher who until just this past week epitomized what this community upholds as an example of its high moral and academic standards wrote herself a steamy little sex novel and has turned this town on its ear.
It’s not bad enough it’s a sex novel though; it’s a sex novel about a teacher who sleeps with students. This little town doesn’t know what to do with itself. So, how did this all go down, settle in and lets talk.
Her name is Carol Ann Eastman and she’s taught English at Hoover High School for the last 7 years. On her off time she busied herself writing a novel that she was able to get published using the pen name Deena Bright. The novel is titled “Schooled” and in this post “50 Shades of Grey” literary world we live in the folks in this town have found something else to be shocked and dismayed over. One of the towns most respected rolling in the sludge of “teacherotica”!
It’s unclear how folks made the connection between Eastman and her porn writing pen name but from what I personally understand it’s not like she was particularly hiding it from anyone. She had worked hard on her novel and was and is proud of her achievement, as any author would be.
As to be expected most of the kids find it all pretty cool and the parents are of course, shocked and appalled. The same soccer moms that just a few short months ago locked themselves in the basement to read “50 Shades” can’t believe the smut that this teacher of their children has spewed out.
Can anyone say hypocrite?
I can’t help but wonder at what point we decided that teachers had to live like Nuns. At what point was it decided that a teacher couldn’t have a life outside of the classroom, have a dream other than educating. Apparently someone here in North Canton decided that was so, they just didn’t bother to inform the rest of us. Main Street is a buzz with talk of that teacher and the horrible sex stuff she wrote!
There has not been any action yet by the school board or any parent groups but it’s coming, you can feel it in the air and Ms. Eastman must feel it as well and it is being reported she is lawyering up to battle any impending legal claims from the school or parents.
I hope that those persecuting this fine educator take a few days and research what Ms. Eastman is being accused of. If they take the time and read the novel, hell all they have to do is read the synopsis and they will find that it’s not a story about a high school teacher having sex with her students it’s about a high school teacher who has affairs with college MEN who she once schooled.
Semantics? Perhaps, but it’s the difference between crossing the line and lightly dancing on it.
From all accounts Ms. Eastman isn’t just a good teacher, she’s a great teacher and I hope that the students and school board will stand behind her and support her right to have a life outside of the school walls.
Will she keep her job? Will the ultra-moral triumph? Will teachers in North Canton have to take a pledge of chastity and clean thinking? All unknown but one thing for sure, the book is selling well.