By Evan Pondel

OXNARD, California (Reuters) - A Southern California middle school science teacher who once appeared in a porn film has been fired by her school district over concerns the issue could pose a distraction to students, officials said on Thursday.

The five-person Oxnard school board voted unanimously on Wednesday night in favor of the dismissal of Stacie Halas, who had been a teacher at the Richard B. Haydock Intermediate School for almost three years.

Superintendent Jeff Chancer said that, as a result of Halas' role as a porn actress, the district found she had displayed immoral conduct, dishonesty and evident unfitness for service.

"To have Ms. Halas back at school would cause continued distraction and disruption, and it would be difficult for the students to concentrate," Chancer said. "I don't know Ms. Halas, but I feel badly for her."

Halas, whose school in Oxnard is about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, has been on leave from teaching for nearly two months amid allegations she had performed in pornography.

Chancer said she will have 30 days to appeal the decision.

Video snippets of the porn film in question were shown on the website of Los Angeles news station KTLA. The movie showed a woman welcoming a pizza delivery man into her house. Halas' precise role in the film was not clear.

Chancer said he believed Halas performed in the porn film prior to starting her career teaching in Oxnard, but he added that he could not verify that.

Diane Duke, the executive director of pornography trade group the Free Speech Coalition, defended Halas and complained the school district was discriminating against her.

"Many adult performers work to put themselves through school, especially now when support for education has hit an all-time low," Duke said. "Ms. Halas worked in a legal industry in order to supplement her income, allowing her to go to college and better her life."

Halas could not be reached for comment.

In Florida, a teacher was fired last year when it was revealed he was in gay porn films, but a school commission later reinstated him because he technically did not violate any rules.

(Editing By Alex Dobuzinskis and Cynthia Johnston)