NEW YORK (CBS 2) — After days of hiding out from cameras, suspended Bronx teacher Melissa Petro finally surfaced Tuesday.
But despite her past speeches about her former life as a prostitute, the young woman wouldn’t talk about it Tuesday.
In fact, she ran from CBS 2’s Tony Aiello rather than answer questions. The 30-year-old art teacher made tracks up Lexington Avenue.
She’s been suspended from PS 70 in the Claremont section of the Bronx three weeks after blogging for the Huffington Post. She admitted she worked as a stripper — and briefly — as a prostitute before she got her teaching job.
Petro was hired after passing a background check. According to chancellor’s regulation, c-105, the check is supposed to look for “unbecoming conduct,” specifically including prostitution or pimping.
“I was a stripper in Mexico, when I was 19,” Petro says on her video.
Petro made no effort to hide her past — speaking at a 2009 event in the Bowery and blogging about it repeatedly over the last five years.
In June, Petro blogged that an administrator at the school urged her to use a pseudonym. She declined.
“I’ve never been one to shy away from publicity. I suppose I could be fired, but for what exactly?” she said.
Aiello pursued Petro and asked many questions, but she just pushed her way down the street.
For now, her writing will have to speak for itself.
After three years as a teacher — Petro has tenure — she’s been given non-classroom duties while the special school investigator looks into all of this.