A Maple Ridge education assistant who says she was struggling to make ends meet has been fired over her second job: posting racy content online, including on OnlyFans.
Kristin MacDonald, 35, has posted titillating photos and videos for about a year under the name Ava James on the website known for custom pornography.
That drew the ire of School District 43, where MacDonald had been an education assistant since 2015 at Terry Fox Secondary in Port Coquitlam.
The district ordered her to shut down her adult content on social media, including on OnlyFans, in April or risk being fired.
She did not. On June 16 she was turfed.
“Your misconduct in this matter is egregious,” read a termination letter from a district assistant superintendent, which listed six reasons for firing her.
Among them is allegedly posting material on public social media accounts that “involves the sexualization of the school environment.”
It also claims MacDonald disparaged the district in media interviews, linked his education assistant and adult performance work through those interviews, and capitalized on the link between being a school employee and adult performer via his OnlyFans subscription offerings.
“In the employer’s view, each of the above six points independently constitutes a fundamental breach of your obligations as an employee and cause for termination of your employment,” the letter reads.
“As such, your employment is terminated for just cause effective immediately.”
‘It seems very petty’
MacDonald spoke about the firing for the first time in an interview Monday because he had been traveling.
She said being fired was a foregone conclusion. She suspects a TikTok video of her in a schoolgirl outfit may have been a particular problem for the district.
“I feel like they’re making connections to, you know, me defaming the education system by wearing this outfit,” MacDonald said. “It’s so far fetched to me. It seems very petty.”
MacDonald said she and her union have put in for a grievance. Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 561 did not immediately respond to CBC News’ request for comment Monday.
WATCH | Kristin MacDonald discusses ‘misconceptions’ about OnlyFans work:
“There’s been a lot of mixed emotions about it,” MacDonald said. “Certainly, disappointment and everything. But I’m also optimistic that the process is not over yet.”
MacDonald said being an education assistant only earned him $1,000 every two weeks after deductions. She insisted that while on duty at school, she was solely focused on helping students and had never been the subject of complaints about her behavior with students.
She said there needs to be more attention given to the low pay of education assistants and there needs to be less stigma around sex work. She doesn’t regret speaking out.
“I feel strongly that in this day and age, we should be able to do what we want as long as it’s not illegal,” MacDonald said. “I’m not hurting anyone.”
School District 43 did not respond to an interview request Monday.
In a late June statement, it said all employees are treated fairly and equitably when investigations are undertaken.
“The district does not comment on individual employee matters.”