A high school teacher in Missouri has been placed on leave after district administrators learned that she has an OnlyFans account.
Brianna Coppage, 28, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch that she was not surprised when officials at St Clair High School in Franklin County asked to meet with her on 27 September. The English teacher said that she joined the website over the summer to help support her household.
“It was kind of always like this cloud hanging over my head, like I never knew when I would be discovered,” Ms Coppage told the outlet. “Then, about two weeks ago, my husband and I were told that people were finding out about it. So I knew this day was coming.”
Ms Coppage said she had a meeting with two school administrators and was confronted about posting “inappropriate media on one or more internet sites.”
Superintendent Kyle Kruse said in a statement that the school had hired legal counsel to investigate whether the content shared by Ms Coppage’s account impacted her employment at the high school.
“Actions taken as a result of the investigation will be in accordance with board policy and with guidance from legal counsel.” Ms Kruse told the Post-Dispatch.
On average, Ms Coppage said she has brought an additional $8,000 to $10,000 every month from her OnlyFans earnings, in addition to her $42,000 annual salary as a teacher.
The English teacher said that she chose OnlyFans to post her content because she thought it offered certain level of privacy, as only paying subscribers can see the material. However, she believes a recent video in which she appeared along with her husband and two popular performers in St Louis may have reached people in her community.
“There is this expectation that teachers should be the moral leaders of students, and I do not disagree with that,” Ms Coppage told the Post-Dispatch. “I taught the curriculum. I taught students reading and writing, and I didn’t guide them on my thoughts or beliefs. … And I can’t control what people think of me.”
Ms Coppage said she does not regret joining the platform but has come to terms with the fact that she will likely be terminated in the near future.
“(The district says) they haven’t made a decision yet, but I’m just kind of putting the pieces together that I am not coming back,” Ms Coppage said. “I’m very aware that I am probably never going to teach again, but that was kind of the risk I knew I was taking. I am sad about that. I do miss my students.”
Ms Coppage insisted that her online persona is completely separate from her work.
She said her posts were not illegal and emphasised that she does not believe “sex work has to be shameful.”
Ms Coppage has been teaching at St Claire High School for two years. Before that, she was an academic adviser at the Missouri University of Science & Technology.