Last spring, a legal tussle started over the past life of a Palm Beach-area math tutor. David Mech -- known around Boca Raton as "The Happy/Fun Math Tutor" -- called foul when school officials pulled down signs advertising his services.
What was behind the move? Mech believes it was because someone spread the word that he'd once acted and directed porn under the vivid sobriquet, Dave Pounder. Mech-Pounder filed a lawsuit against the district. It now looks like a federal judge will give Mech his day in court.
Mech appeared in over 100 porn films, many made for big name brands like BangBros.com. He also produced and directed, and after officially quitting the business, Mech put together a documentary and wrote a book on the industry. Smart guy, this one.
When the issues with the district started last May, he filed his suit himself. He has thoughtful and convincing arguments about why he was wronged. Not to mention, he spent $1,750 on those signs and hasn't seen a dime back from the school.
But the main point we should mull over: should a past life in porn -- or any other behavior which is not criminal but could offend certain moral sensibilities -- really have an impact on someone's current job? Mech wasn't talking to his students about porn; he was teaching them math. Why should it matter?
Anyway, Palm Beach's school board quickly filed a motion to throw out Mech's claims that the district violated his 14th Amendment rights when they took down the signs. Their claim was basically, how can you have sympathy for a guy who got to bang tons of strange on camera? Right? Right? Right?
Just kidding. Actually, the district attempted to argue that Mech had not proven his business was impacted by the removal of his signs and that school policy allows principals the leeway to "use their discretion in selecting and approving business partners that are consistent with the educational mission of the School Board, District and community values, and appropriateness to the age group represented at the school."
This month, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra decided not to dismiss Mech's lawsuit. "The case is moving forward," Mech confirmed to New Times in a quick email. "Nothing much has changed since we last spoke."
We'll keep you posted on the developments.
Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Swenson.
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