Admitted Ex-Prostitute Teacher, Melissa Petro, Faces Trial

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A self-proclaimed hooker-turned-teacher is facing a Department of Education trial within 60 days.

Melissa Petro, 30,  was a tenured teacher at P.S. 70 in the Claremont section of the Bronx. After beginning a blog 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. She’s since been charged, administratively, with “conduct unbecoming a teacher,” and was removed from her classroom.

Education officials have yet to mention on what grounds they’re able to fire Petro for from the content of her blog.

“I was a stripper in Mexico, when I was 19,” Petro said 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.

After her trial, an arbitrator will have 30 days to decide what penalty, if any, she should receive.

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