By Nikki Gaskins
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV)—The attorney for the Wando High School teacher released from his teaching duties recently says he plans to fight to save his client's job.
"He's concerned that a firing could end up having an adverse affect on his licensing with the state of South Carolina, his ability to teach in the future, so this is a killer for him and his wife," said Jay Masty, the attorney for Christopher Poston.
District leaders relieved the 36-year-old sociology teacher of his duties after he reportedly showed an inappropriate movie to students at the high school.
On Wednesday, school officials handed Poston a letter recommending him for termination. He has fifteen days to appeal the recommendation and his attorney, Jay Masty, say he plans to do just that.
"This is a guy dedicated to the students above and beyond the classroom setting," said Masty.
He admits, however, that his client realizes he made a mistake when he showed a two-to-three minute clip of the movie "Jackass 2" that drew complaints from parents and from district leaders who deemed the movie inappropriate.
"This is a guy who did not have an awareness of what he was putting up, film wise. He shouldn't have done it clearly," said Masty. "He didn't hide behind it, didn't lie, admitted every thing, and admitted it was the wrong thing to do. I think there should be some reward for that."
Masty says on Valentine's Day, Poston was filling in for a Latin class when the video clip was shown.
"He was asked at the last minute to babysit a class," said Masty. "Mr. Poston has never taken Latin, doesn't know Latin, so ten minutes before class he's told to tell the student to read a couple of chapters then be on his own."
At some point, Masty says Poston used his school-issued laptop to download and purchase the movie "Jackass 2" from Amazon.com.
"The students said well, put it up. He put it up thinking it was going to that physical absurdity kind of demonstration and it turned out to have sexual content," said Masty.
Poston's attorney says his client immediately shut the computer off after seeing that the clip was inappropriate for the classroom.
"This is a guy based on history wouldn't do anything to harm the students at Wando," said Masty.
The Citadel grad is no now longer teaching and is on paid leave with benefits still in place. An on-line petition has also been set up in support of Poston.
"The amount of support I'm seeing for this guy is something I've never seen," said Masty.
Masty says his client is bothered by some students now bullying others, however, for letting school leaders know the short clip made them uncomfortable.
"Chris is disturbed by that turn of events. He doesn't want this student intimidated or harmed because she did what she thought was the right thing.
According to Masty, Poston was very heavily involved in the Buddy Olympics and also coached track and cross country at Wando at one time.
Masty says once appeal is filed, he was told it may be two to three months before his client's case is reviewed.