A school in Coquitlam, British Columbia has demanded that an education assistant, Kristin MacDonald, shut down her OnlyFans account or risk being fired.
Kristin MacDonald, a single mother who works at Terry Fox Secondary School, turned to the subscription-based platform to supplement her income, a common occurrence for underpaid education assistants.
However, the school board has labeled her adult content account inappropriate and incompatible with her role in helping special needs students.
The case has sparked a complex labor dispute due to the nature of MacDonald’s extracurricular work and the societal stigma surrounding it.
Warning: Shut Down or Face Discipline
MacDonald received an email on April 28 from school authorities instructing her to cease all activity on her adult content accounts, including OnlyFans, and to remove her presence from various social media platforms.
The email emphasized the possibility of disciplinary action, including termination, if she failed to comply.
The education assistant, who began working for the school district in 2015, assists special needs children and teenagers with various tasks, such as feeding tubes and blood-sugar testing.
MacDonald expressed her passion for helping students and her sadness over the situation.
Balancing Income and Desperation
To augment her income, which is below $50,000 per year, MacDonald took the risk of setting up an OnlyFans account under a pseudonym.
By June 2022, she was offering exclusive adult content for a monthly subscription fee. MacDonald made efforts to keep her side gig discreet, ensuring that school staff were blocked from accessing her content.
She clarified that her work did not involve selling sexual services and highlighted the financial desperation she faced as a poorly paid education assistant in an expensive region like British Columbia.
Complicated Legal and Moral Questions
The labor dispute surrounding MacDonald’s situation raises complex legal and moral questions. Legal experts have noted the challenges associated with determining the connection between an employee’s extracurricular activities and their work at the school.
Additionally, the existence of district policies outlining expectations and consequences for online conduct will play a crucial role in the case. While Canadian employers generally have broad termination rights, unionized employees like MacDonald benefit from additional protections.
The moral dilemma arises from the low wages that education assistants receive, leading them to seek additional sources of income.
Union Support and Previous Cases
MacDonald’s union, CUPE 561, has expressed support for her and questioned whether she breached any collective agreement or district policies.
The union president emphasized that MacDonald’s side of the story had not yet been heard and pledged full support throughout the process.
This situation is not the first of its kind, as other educators have faced similar conflicts.
In the United States, an Indiana teacher was fired after creating an OnlyFans account, and a Quebecois teacher faced dismissal for soft-core pornographic work she had done years earlier.
The Larger Issue of Occupational Discrimination
Experts point out that MacDonald’s case highlights the pervasive issue of occupational discrimination in sex-related work.
Societies continue to grapple with attempts to control women’s bodies and undermine their agency in the workplace. Angela Jones, a sociology professor, argues that sex work should be treated as legitimate work and not subject to discriminatory treatment.
She criticizes the school’s paternalistic message and advocates for the protection of all workers’ dignity.
As the labor dispute unfolds, the outcome will depend on the legal and moral considerations surrounding MacDonald’s situation. The case has ignited a broader conversation abo