ST. CLAIR, Mo. (NewsNation/KTVI) — Officials at a Missouri high school placed one of its teachers on leave last Wednesday after discovering she was performing pornographic content on the site OnlyFans, according to multiple reports.
Brianna Coppage, a 28-year-old English teacher, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that her teaching days at St. Clair High School were likely over and that she’d probably never teach again.
She said she knew the risks of joining the website, but did it to supplement her salary, which was only around $42,000 last year, according to CBS News.
To Coppage, the risks were worth it as she made an additional $8,000 to $10,000 a month performing on the website, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“I do not regret joining OnlyFans. I know it can be taboo, or some people may believe that it is shameful, but I don’t think sex work has to be shameful,” Coppage told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I do just wish things just happened in a different way.”
Coppage also said it’s shameful how underpaid teachers are everywhere, adding that it wasn’t a question that she has to supplement her income.
The teacher said she chose the site because the content was only available to paying subscribers and hoped it would help shield her identity, the report said. However, someone ended up notifying the school of her account, which led to Coppage being sat down by two administrators before being put on leave.
Coppage believes the school was notified after she and her husband appeared in a video alongside another OnlyFans couple in St. Louis, the report said. However, it is unclear if this is the case.
The high school superintendent, Kyle Kruse, said in a statement that the school was aware Coppage may have posted inappropriate content on the website, according to The Missourian.
“The District has engaged legal counsel to conduct a comprehensive investigation of this matter. Actions taken as a result of the investigation will be in accordance with Board policy and with guidance from legal counsel,” Kruse said in the statement.
But Coppage has received a surprising amount of support from the St. Clair community, including from parents, according to The Missourian.
“Surprisingly, a lot of parents were supporting me. A lot of community members were saying, ‘Leave her alone, this is her private business. It has nothing to do with her in the classroom,'” she told The Missourian.
Some supporters have even signed a petition saying she should be able to continue her career as a teacher. As of Monday afternoon, the online petition had about 350 signatures.
One woman who signed the petition wrote, “This is in the privacy of her own personal time. She is one of the only teachers who has actually done their job and helped my daughter when she needed it. Most teachers don’t even try and help.”
Another supporter wrote that they “loved” having Coppage as a teacher and that she should be able to do whatever she wants in life.