by Chris Haire
Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, but he is still a great man.
Both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK were adulters, but they were still great men.
Wando High School teacher Christopher Poston showed sexually explicit material to minors, but he's still a great man.
Or so the argument goes in Poston's appeal, in which the teacher's attorney argues that Poston, Tom, Jack, and the good reverend doctor were like, you know, really, really, really similar and stuff. They were all guys who made mistakes.
Equally as important — we think — the appeal notes that the Wando teacher had downloaded Jackass No. 2 with the intent of teaching students and not because he was like, um, dicking in class around by watching a movie in which a guy puts a sock on his dick and lets a snake bite it.
According to the appeal:
Poston anticipated that Jackass 2 may have instructional value to his sociology students as one of the primary topics then being studied in class was "societal norms" and "expectations of behavior."
The appeal later states:
Poston started viewing Jackass 2 on his laptop. The initial scenes showed bulls chasing people down the street.
The students appeared to be bored and not engaged in learning. Several students began to ask Poston about what he taught, about what sociology is. Mr. Poston decided to "convert" his responsibilities in class from "baby-sitter" to teacher. Poston began discussing societal norms and expectations and where behavior "fits" in society. Poston explained that sociology would explore normal and "abnormal" behaviors in society, conformity and non-confirmity in behavior patterns. They talked about public conduct and how it varies from private conduct.
The students asked Mr. Poston what he was watching on his laptop. When he told them Jackass 2, many acknowledged having already seen the movie. Many more asked that he show the movie to class. Poston put the movie on the smart screen. For the first minute, it continued to show bulls chasing people down the street and then it changed to a stop sign which contained very small letters. When a person approached that sign, it would pop out of the wall and hit the person viewing the sign. The next scene began to show a male with a stocking type cover over his genitalia. When Poston noticed that the content had become sexual in nature, he shut the screen down. He did not show any additional content from the Jackass 2 movie.
This story differs slightly from the police report:
He advised that while the students were working, he began to watch Jackass 2 from the computer. Upon the students hearing the noise, they asked what he was watching. He told them what he was watching, He then placed the video on the smart board. When he saw how inappropriate it was becoming, he turned it off. He stated that it was about 2 to 3 minutes.
Like I said the differences are slight, but they could quite possibly be significant. In the appeal, Poston's attorney asserts that the teacher downloaded the video as an instructional aid, a detail that is not present in the police report. The appeal also creates a scene in which the students first began to ask Poston what he teaches and then they ask him about the video. In the police report, the students hear the video and ask him what he is watching. You can decide for yourself if those differences are meaningful.
But what I find most interesting about the appeal is the mention of a so-called stop sign scene in Jackass No. 2. Some of the details are wrong about the scene. For one, it's not a stop sign with very tiny lettering; it's a large Valentine's Day card. But that's really here nor there.
What's significant here is when the "stop sign" scene occurs in Jackass No. 2. It begins five minutes and 30 seconds into the movie. The scene with the snake, the sock, and the penis begins at three minutes and 59 seconds and ends at five minutes and 27 seconds. Make of that what you will.