This article is part of ongoing coverage of this story. You can see all of the investigative series here.
When school officials approved a film shoot on a school campus over two weekends in October 2011, they had no idea it would be for a pornographic film.
Despite a pornographic production company listing the name of the film on the permit LAUSD reviewed, no one at the district or school caught it until it was too late.
But then-17-year-old high school senior Sammy Bass figured it out.
“We saw them filming in the parking lot,” said Bass, now a college student.
Bass was on his way to a school rehearsal when he spotted the film crew and a large group of young women in colorful bikinis in the front parking lot of Alexander Hamilton High School in the Beverlywood neighborhood of LA.
“We were told it was a commercial,” he said with a smirk. “Definitely turned out not to be a commercial.”
Turns out the shoot was for a film titled “Revenge of the Petites” — a porn spoof of the classic film “Revenge of the Nerds” — something LAUSD would have known by looking at the film permit it approved.
NBC4 uncovered the porn movie filmed at Hamilton High School as part of an investigation into the disruptions caused by film crews at L.A. public schools. After hearing about the porn movie, LAUSD promptly announced it would temporarily shut down all commercial filming at schools.
Though the district has not formally lifted that suspension on filming, it announced 22 hours later that it would again start considering permits for filming — which brings the district roughly $2 million a year.
Among many complaints from teachers were records that show classes were disrupted by multiple productions, the bell schedule has been delayed and school sports practices canceled. In one case, a film crew’s explosion even interrupted the school’s planned schedule.
And NBC4 found schools are sometimes willing to allow interruptions to student education in exchange for additional money, sometimes asking teachers to move their own students elsewhere.
One teacher was told by a school official in an email, “We will need you to find a place to relocate your students. I’m thinking the cafeteria.”
That’s unacceptable according to Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
“It almost provides an incentive to film the most disruptive activity possible,” Coupal said.
Producers for “Revenge of the Petites” paid cash for a filming permit at Hamilton High School, with filming to take place on two consecutive Saturdays in October, when most students would be off campus.
Porn stars like Dani Daniels, Skin Diamond and Riley Reid performed for a sudsy carwash scene, with several porn stars including Daniels exposing her breasts in the parking lot, as cars whizzed by the school’s historic front entrance on Robertson Boulevard.
The adult film crew was also allowed on Hamilton’s quad, where several scenes were filmed, and inside of Hamilton’s main building — in fact, immediately behind the school’s marble statue of Alexander Hamilton himself.
And Reid filmed several scenes for a behind-the-scenes featurette in front of a display case containing photos of Hamilton students.
LAUSD told NBC4 it banned the production company after learning of the shoot, but NBC4 has learned Bass and two friends from Hamilton were then invited to the porn movie’s premiere at a local theater, where they posed for pictures with porn stars on the red carpet.
One of Bass’ friends, Alex, even wore his Hamilton Track and Field T-shirt, clearly visible in publicity photos taken at the event.
“They came to our place, I could kind of take Hamilton to them,” he said, laughing. “As unofficial representatives of the school, I felt it was fitting.”
“It was just the funniest — I will never have a night that is more outlandish than that,” he said.
“It’s just this hilarious and bizarre thing that happened at our high school,” Bass said.
Bass and his friends were allowed to stay for the screening of the pornographic film.
A big complaint from parents is that they aren’t told what’s being filmed or how it might impact their child’s classes.
“As a parent, I would like to be notified,” one parent told NBC4.
Of 50 schools NBC4 checked for this report, only 6 of them had any policy in place to notify parents about filming.
That may not have helped in the case of the porno filmed at Hamilton, which told NBC4 it was misled about the porn being filmed there.
Students said their parents were still never informed about that shoot.
Now in college, Bass has a message for the school district.
“Are they going to be making the school look good? Are they going to be making the school look bad? Those are some basic questions I think they should be asking,” Bass said.
“Just don’t mess up again,” Alex said.
Coming up Tuesday on the NBC4 News at 11 p.m.: After the superintendent and entire school board refused NBC4’s repeated requests for interviews, the school district sits down to answer our questions for the first time.