Teachers Can Be Fired Over Cruising For Sex On Craigslist: Court

Frank Lampedusa in November 2008 was ousted as a tenured teacher the dean of students at Farb Middle School in San Diego when administrators learned of a Craigslist ad he posted in the men-for-men section. He’s been battling his termination in court ever since and even won the last round before the Commission on Professional Competence. But the Fourth District Court of Appeal this week overturned the decision and decided Lampedusa’s firing was completely kosher, because men who cruise for sex online clearly prove they are “unfit” to teach children.

Lampedusa, who was hired by the San Diego Unified School District in 1999, did not post his name or affiliation with the school on his Craigslist ads, which he acknowledged to the commission he had placed four or five times. The ads did feature photos of his stomach, butt, penis, torso — and yes, his face. (There were also “graphic descriptions” of the type of sex he liked.) I’m guessing it was that face photo that got him caught: In June 2008 a San Diego police dispatcher received an anonymous call from a man who said a friend had told him Farb Middle School’s dean was cruising Craiglist. (Don’t guys cruising Craigslist, who have something to lose, know to only send face pics in private emails, if at all?) A district supervisor, reports KSWB-TV, asked Lampedusa to pull the ads, which he did, but by November Lampedusa was served with a termination notice by the school.

His defense in all of this is that merely by posting M4M sex ads online, he is not unfit for his teaching job — even if his own students could possibly happen upon the listings. The school disagreed. The competence omission did not. But the Fourth Circuit Court did, and for now it’s that ruling that sticks. The court writes:

The Commission erred in finding there was “no evidence of aggravating circumstances surrounding [Lampedusa’s] conduct.” This finding ignores the fact Lampedusa posted graphic, pornographic photos, and obscene written material, on a Web site open to the public. Lampedusa admitted that he had posted similar ads in the past and did not believe he had done anything immoral. Moreover, rather than taking complete responsibility for his conduct, he shifted responsibility to parents and students to not access his site.

Further, while it is true that he promptly removed the ad after being directed to do so, it does not mitigate his conduct that would have likely continued had a parent not viewed and complained about the ad. This factor also does not support the Commission’s decision.

[…] While Lampedusa’s conduct may not have been blameworthy in the sense he was seeking a date, it was extremely blameworthy in the pornographic, obscene manner that he did so. This factor also does not support the Commission’s decision.

[…] A teacher may also be dismissed for “[i]mmoral or unprofessional conduct.” (§ 44932, subd. (a)(1).) ” ‘The term “immoral” has been defined generally as that which is hostile to the welfare of the general public and contrary to good morals. Immorality has not been confined to sexual matters, but includes conduct inconsistent with rectitude, or indicative of corruption, indecency, depravity, dissoluteness; or as wilful, flagrant, or shameless conduct showing moral indifference to the opinions of respectable members of the community, and as an inconsiderate attitude toward good order and the public welfare.’ ” (Board of Education v. Weiland (1960) 179 Cal.App.2d 808, 811.) Moreover, the definition of immoral or unprofessional conduct must be considered in conjunction with the unique position of public school teachers, upon whom are imposed “responsibilities and limitations on freedom of action which do not exist in regard to other callings.” (Board of Trustees v. Stubblefield, supra, 16 Cal.App.3d at p. 824.)

The public posting on a Web site of pornographic photos and obscene text constitute immoral conduct in that it evidences “indecency” and “moral indifference.” Thus, the District’s decision to terminate Lampedusa was also supported on this ground.

The full ruling, which was not published in court records, here:

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  • PopSnap

    As a future teacher myself, I have this to say: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PUT ONLINE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A PUBLIC SERVANT. Although the school definitely overreacted in this particular case, it was a bad move on his part to place identifiable nude photos of himself on a website as frequented and public as Craigslist.

    I can’t say I can sympathize, as I look down on guys who cruise/look for anonymous sex, but really. He could’ve avoided this whole mess if he would’ve went on like Manhunt or something which is private to all those who aren’t members.

  • EdWoody

    But I have to ask, if a parent or child found the ad online, does that not mean they were looking for m4m sex themselves? You don’t come across these things by accident – that’s simply not how it works. It’s like the porn star getting fired from Subway – how do you know unless you’re a porn watcher? So how does the accuser claim the moral high ground here?

  • greenmanTN

    If it weren’t for the face pics I’d say “Who cares?” Without them the identity of the person who posted them would be just speculation and rumor. But it does harm his credibility for students, parents, and staff to know EXACTLY what kind of sex he’s looking for (str8 or gay) and graphic pictures of his genitals and asshole.

    Good lord, just the thought of some of my old teachers having sex is enough to chill the blood even without privy to the details!

  • no thanks

    I feel like our private lives should be private, but when you’re a public servant, you are, indeed, held to a different standard.

  • The sane Francis

    Yes, EdWoody. Some horny man who was trolling for gay sex was the one who outed this teacher.

    With THAT said, I can see where the school is coming from. I don’t agree with their actions, but I can see their attitude behind it. What it comes down to is, the man is representing the school as long as he was employed there. These sex ads could damage the schools’ reputation, but even more than that, it compromises his ability to teach his students and it puts his sex life out on the table as a “feature” of who he is. He’s no longer teacher Lampedusa, he’s Craigslist sex ad Lampedusa. So it’s unfortunate and I wouldn’t go down this route personally, but I can see why this decision was made.

  • John

    “[T]he Fourth District Court of Appeal this week overturned the decision and decided Lampedusa’s firing was completely kosher, because men who cruise for sex online clearly prove they are ‘unfit’ to teach children.”

    No, Queerty, and you know that this isn’t true. He was fired because he posted pictures “stomach, butt, penis, torso — and yes, his face” online as well as “‘graphic descriptions’ of the type of sex he liked”. Very stupid. At the very least he showed extremely poor judgment in that he should have known the kind of brou-ha-ha that this would generate if people found out.

  • Oprah

    Fire Him. If anything he has embarrassed the gay community. Gay people are supposed to be smart and sharp. Obviously this one is NOT. Go to another school,its not like you are branded a criminal record. Apply for another job, they will search your criminal record– and find you are clean. Move on with your life. LOL

  • McMike

    The problem, it seems, was he posted d!ck pics. The court even stated they understood if he was just looking for a ‘date’ but that wasn’t the case. Sorry, but he could have easily avoided the whole thing by having someone email him before he starts showing the world his package.

  • justiceontherocks

    I’m not sure I buy the court’s logic (and it has a shot at being reversed)but I’m comforable with him being canned. Anyone dumb enough to troll for sex on CL is too dumb to teach.

  • zeb

    Face pics are fine, but putting dick pics on CL is just plain stoopid. Ewwww.

  • Mike in Asheville

    This ruling is ignorant and against public policy. The mere fact that tens and tens of thousands of Californians post sexually provocative ads including nude photos on all sorts of publicly available web sites for consenting adults, gay and straight, demonstrates that there is significant public acceptance of such conduct, and as such fails to meet any standard of indecency or immorality.

    There is nothing illegal about posting the desire to hook up for sex nor to post pictures, including nude pictures. Bad taste, sure. But immoral? Indecent? Only by the standards of prudes who should not be allowed to force their prudishness on others.

    Considering the review commission originally found on behalf of the teacher, I hope he appeals this ignorant ruling to the California Supreme Court. Should this ruling stand, each and every adult who posts a sexually provocative ad/photos is in jeopardy of their rights to enjoy their life their way.

  • PopSnap


    They aren’t saying he should be thrown into jail for doing such a thing. If they were, I’d agree with you. It’s not, as someone else said, a criminal offence.

    This is just not professional behavior, and anyone who tries to excuse it is out of touch with reality. No, the majority of people, gay AND straight, do not think cruising for sex, gay OR straight, on Craigslist is acceptable. Should it be illegal? NO. Is it unacceptable if you are an adult who is teaching children? YES.

    AT LEAST don’t post a picture of your face, number 1, and number 2, don’t use a website as widely & easily accesible as Craigslist.

    Also, I’ve looked at the mfm,fff,mff, whatever sections on CL while bored & honestly to see if I recognize anyone on there. Just because you look at it doesn’t mean you’re looking for sex. And yes, students do this alot too, I’m sure.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @ PopSnap

    I read your response to my comment. I don’t, even for fun, cruise Craigslist, so I was curious to see what was posted. In San Diego County, where the case is from, there are over 10,000 personals posted for WM, MW, MM, WW, Bi. Many more than not have pictures attached. I clicked on a couple just to see, and, wow. Several very hard cocks, a girl blowing a guy, a guy blowing 2 guys, saw 2 women slurping eachother, guy boinking a guy, and a guy boinking a woman.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, a majority of people do not approve; nonetheless, the majority does not have the right to dictate to the minority. The 10,000 postings are just the ones on Craigslist, and there a hundred other websites offering the same.

    I stand by my post: the private personal legal conduct outside of one’s workplace should not be a basis to employment discrimination. And it discrimination: those that do not approve deny employment to those that accept.

    (Though I don’t cruise Craigslist, and it has been several years, but I had postings on M4M and one other but can’t remember the name. No face shots, but, those postings should not enter into any determination about my employment qualifications.)

  • B

    No. 2 · EdWoody wrote, “But I have to ask, if a parent or child found the ad online, does that not mean they were looking for m4m sex themselves? You don’t come across these things by accident – that’s simply not how it works.”

    Actually you can come across them by accident. One way is to be a bit spastic using a mouse and click it a bit too soon, getting the wrong link (Craigslist’s home page contains a list of topics). Once (before Google), I tried to look up something for a sink (kitchen/bathroom thing) and rather than be annoyed with the previous search engine’s bad performance and annoying animated gifs, I tried to type in “sinks.com” to see what would pop up. I hit the wrong key for one(?) of the letters and ended up at a porn site.

  • Shannon

    What an IDIOT for putting his face online!!!

  • Nathan

    This is ridiculous. His private life is his business, public servant or not. Cruising for sex in your downtime in no way makes you a bad teacher or even a bad role model. Quit being puritanical.

  • queer uncle tom

    and pretty soon we’ll finally be policing people’s browsing history. go team!

  • jacknasty

    it sucks, but seriously what kinda of moron posts their face in a craigslist ad looking for sex?

    I have friends who are teachers and they know to be very careful about what to put online, even regular sites like facebook. They all have their profiles set to private and won’t friend any of their students.

  • ousslander

    @no thanks: It’s not private if you put it on on blast on the internets for the world to see

  • DavyJones

    If he was a female teacher posting the same pics in the W4M section, I’d bet he’d still be fired. It’s very unprofessional, and that aside, anyone stupid enough to think posting those pictures wouldn’t have repercussions shouldn’t have a hand in educating children…

  • Nat


    Just answer this: how is this man possibly supposed to teach his students after this?

    You don’t have unlimited license to live completely separate public and private lives. It would ideal, but it doesn’t approximate reality. And even when an institution doesn’t have an official policy, you best be cognizant of not doing anything to offend perceived standards.

    Honestly, is that difficult to refrain from posting identifiable nude pictures of yourself out for the world to see?

  • Nat


    There was actually a case in Quebec of a school secretary who did porn on the side who was dismissed for her job. I’m not discounting the potential homophobia in this, but there is the additional principle of representation to the public. So I agree, I don’t think substituting a woman here would have had a substantive outcome.

  • Nat

    *would not have had a substantive outcome

  • Eddy

    No, an adult who does this on their own computer should not be fired for cruising online BUT at the same time if the adult was stupid enough to post embarrassing pics, then maybe they deserve to be fired, especially if you’re in the public eye. I work with kids and have been on other sites but keep it strictly G rated.

  • Avenger

    The guy is obviously a PERVERT and shouldn’t be teaching young kids. Especially boys.

  • Ealan74

    @Mike in Asheville: …but, those postings should not enter into any determination about my employment qualifications…

    But it’s not a matter of qualification, it’s a matter of reputation- his own and the school district he represents. He’s the principal of a school. He supervises children and a staff of professional adults, Do you think he’s going to have the respect of the students and teachers at his school? or is he going to be the laughingstock freaky principal? Are parents going to feel comfortable with “horny naked guy from CL” running their kids’ school? No way!

    This guy killed his own credibility by displaying such poor judgment and a lack of discretion. Why in the world did he post face pics?? He had to know the risks. And most employers will take action to address employees whose poor choice of action casts them in a negative light.

  • DonLakeside

    The standards for teachers are higher than they are for movie stars and politicians. This guy used terrible judgment and obviously doesn’t have the intellectual horsepower to hold a position in public education. I would say the same thing of a straight teacher, male or female. Those of us in the profession know that we can’t afford to be seen as sluts, period.

  • Danny

    The court ignored that the pictures and words were posted on a website called craigslist.org/m4m and that anyone would have to specifically seek out said address. It is not something one stumbles upon like a public square. The court is creating an absurd notion of “public” which belies the reality that one has to activate a computer, activate browser software, pay for a connection to internet, establish that connection, input specific string of characters into that software with said connection active, to be able to access the “public” site. That is a joke, and the court has made a mockery out of commonsense. What was that parent doing performing all those actions and then accessing said advertisement? They had to take a series of complex, premeditated actions to access the material. They did not stumble upon it, like walking into a public square. Judges are a reflection of average Americans – and average Americans have room temperature IQs. These judges should step down from their sanctimoniously intellectually-bankrupt highhorses.

  • David


    Spot on!!!

    Read my nonsense blog if you want. Plenty of gay rights issues covered.

  • J.D

    People seemed to be focused on the fact that this guy has his face and cock out there for everyone to see. Do you realize that in order to see his post one would have to go to craigslist.org, click on the male seeking male section (and unless you’re a male seeking a woman, there is no way you can slip and accidentally go to that section), bypass the warning saying you must be 18 or older to view this, and then go through a a bunch of postings to find his. IF you go to the San Diego M4M section on craigslist it’s PACKED!!

    I think it’s safe to say that accessing his M4M posting was no easy task that one can just stumble upon. It’s blowing my mind that many of these high and mighty people are actually angry at this guy because he wanted to get laid. He did NOT go on there saying “Hi my name is X and I work at X.” He just wanted a random hook up.

    I’ve worked in the classroom for many years and I lived in the same community that I worked in. I’m still a human outside of being a teacher. When I leave that classroom and go out into the real world I am me. I have sex and I have sex with men and that shouldn’t impede on my ability to educate your child.

    I just don’t get it. The man didn’t post it on his blog (although if he did, that’d be fine too) nor did he post it to the front page of AOL. He posted to a section of craigslist that gay men go on to hook up. Unless another parent was there to hook up I don’t understand how or why someone was able to turn him in.

    He wasn’t looking for sex on school property during school hours. He was doing in the privacy of his home on a site for gay men. This whole thing is stupid and to say his actions were morally incorrect is just someone’s opinion.

  • Jeffree

    Teacher included the following in his CL ad: “No Asians” and no “queens.”


  • TheRealAdam

    @Jeffree: LOL. Priceless.

  • ewe

    No one should be fired for cruising adult sex sites with consenting adults on their own time on their own computer in the privacy of their own home that they pay with their own money.

  • Cam

    You think he would have been more careful. There have been many instances of female teachers fired because of posing for nude photos etc…

  • Kelly C

    Does anyone know how to find Frank? I am an old friend from Oshawa and REALLY want to reconnect with him. HELP if you can. THANKS!!!

Comments are closed.