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No porn please, you are a school teacher

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a small region in Italy known for its wine and grappa, is getting more attention because of Anna Ciarani, a schoolteacher who has been suspended for posting an erotic video on YouTube from her antics at an international pornography festival in Berlin, writes Sachin Kalbag.

world Updated: Nov 25, 2007 01:54 IST
Sachin Kalbag

Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a small region in Italy, and is best known for its corn, grapes, sugar beet and fungus cheese. A Wikipedia entry adds that cattle-breeding is also an important industry here. It is best known, however, for its wine and grappa.

Actually, make that “was best known.”

As of Friday, that honour rests with Anna Ciarani, a schoolteacher who has been suspended for posting an erotic video on YouTube from her antics at an international pornography festival in Berlin.

Ciarani is not a stranger to porn. She is a regular on adult sites, where her nude photos have been published for over five years now. She is also an underground porn superstar, having appeared in several hardcore videos.

Her after-hours life had not gone unnoticed with school children. Five years ago, in a startling display of communal idol worship, her primary school students pasted her downloaded photos on their school walls.

Madameweb, as this paradigm of virtue calls herself online, is unmoved. She is not ashamed of her YouTube adventure, she says. In fact, she claims she has never dressed provocatively in school, or put on make-up.

In a blog entry, she wrote: “My behaviour at school has always been extremely professional and upright. Always punctual, never in provocative clothes, never made up, never wearing any heels.”

Italy’s tabloids call her “pornoprof”, but Ciarani says how “as teachers we have first and foremost to guarantee a good cultural preparation as well as helping the individual grow and mature… I don't publish my photos wherever, rather on sites for adults that are banned for minors in which people who share their own desires and their own sexual choices meet and discuss. I don't have second jobs and I don't earn money with my body.”

Naturally, the YouTube universe is divided on this important issue. Some Tubers have urged Ciarani to protest her suspension, while others have hailed the decision of the regional educational authority. Both have a point. Surely it is difficult to concentrate in class when images of your teacher travelling on a bus or walking the streets with no clothes on are all over the Web. At the same time, Italy, along with several other European nations, guards its right to freedom of expression with its life.

On YouTube, and elsewhere, therefore, the debate continues. The administrators at YouTube — certainly not known for their bohemian outlook to life — have sided with the school authorities and removed the offending video from the site. Sad, really, because what will the schoolchildren paste on their walls now.