I have written that freedom of expression is a two-way street. You have a right to write what you want but people have a right to not buy it, or publish it for you, or even to organize boycotts against what you write. But do people have a right to request that you be fired from a job because of what you write on the side? The problem with some jobs such as teaching underage students is that they often require a certain “presence,” a certain level of perceived compatibility with community standards. In the case of Judy I don’t think she should be fired, but isn’t this a matter of where we draw the line? Even if you agree with me with regards to Judy, suppose you found out that your kid’s teacher writes material where women or girls are gratuitously tortured, raped, and killed (and yes, there are these things out there). How would you feel about that? You may argue this is an extreme, but there are parents that feel this way about erotica.
But going back to erotica, I don’t understand how the reasoning to fire a teacher who writes it works. Apart from the fictional elements, the nuts and bolts of the erotica Judy writes is no different from what many teachers do in the privacy of their bedrooms behind closed doors. So it’s OK to do it, but it’s not OK to write about it under a pen name? And what happens if somebody places a webcam in the bedroom of a teacher and then splashes what was filmed all over the internet. Do we then fire that teacher? Is the issue then not what teachers do or write but whether everyone knows about it? Also the central tenet behind this reasoning is that if you write erotica you are somehow a perverted person who is unfit to teach children, and this is just not true. Judy demonstrated that for 25 years before she was outed. You cannot unerringly judge the character of artists from their art. If you don’t believe me take my “spot the murderers” test.
In the end I think that whether Judy stays or goes will be decided by how strongly the different factions within her community are able to influence the school board. Societies change and lines are redrawn all the time; you just have to be mindful about which side of that line you are on at any given moment.