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Porn Stars Can Be Effective Teachers

Kevin Hogan is the head of the English department and the crew coach at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Massachusetts. He’s on paid leave after he was ambushed by Mike Beaudet of Fox 25 News in Boston with photographs from his performances in pornographic films that were released last year.  

Hogan appears to be well-respected by his students and their parents. It’s understandable that parents would be surprised to learn about Hogan’s past, but once the initial shock wears off, will they care that a teacher has participated in porn? As long as he doesn’t discuss his past in porn in the classroom, I don’t think his previous work should be an issue.

Image by coolhunting "tapas" via Flickr

Being an adult film actor is not illegal as long as it is produced legally and it appears that Hogan participated in these films before accepting the position at Mystic Valley. If Hogan acted in a film after becoming a Mystic Valley teacher and his teaching contract forbid him from working in adult entertainment, then there would be a case for firing him for violating his contract. If all his contract has is a clause that prohibits “immoral behavior” during employment, that shouldn’t be enough to fire him. A blanket clause like that allows too much room for interpretation.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is investigating this situation. Its spokesman said, “We expect teachers to hold a very high moral standard. They are role models for students.”

Let’s break this down. Can you have high moral standards and have sex? Have gay sex? Have sex while being filmed? Have sex while being filmed and get paid for it? Have sex while being filmed, get paid for it, and allow it to be available for public consumption? The adult entertainment industry is stigmatized, but participating in it does not mean that you are an immoral person.

The next argument is always that teachers are role models for students. Being a former or current porn star does not threaten the health or safety of any student. It might give the teacher a reputation that they have to manage, but it doesn’t interfere with their ability to teach.

Moreover, teachers do lots of things that I’m sure parents don’t want their children emulating. Should we fire any teacher that has engaged in any act that parents dislike? If parents and schools are so concerned about having teachers who are exceptional role models for students, then they would fire every teacher who smokes, is bad at managing their finances, is obese, is a weekend binge drinker, and every teacher who has ever gotten a speeding ticket or driven while talking on their cell phone.

One of my totally awesome liberal friends is studying to be a teacher. She said, “Doing gay porn while teaching is unacceptable . . . . Pornography and teaching do not mix, no exceptions.” While I respect that some people think that there’s no place for a porn star in the classroom, I disagree. I’m not a parent, but if I were, I’d let my child be taught by a good teacher who happened to do porn as long as they kept their porn life out of the classroom.

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6 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Mike Beaudet is quite a piece of work. If you look at his past, he was involved in “investigative” reporting that resulted in a suicide, a lawsuit that revolves around an unjust firing of a postal worker…and that is just for starters. This guy is a predator, who has zero respect for the lives of others.

    But, Dan Savage has an all-call out for dirt on this guy.

    I hope he goes down. Pun intended.

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Alex.

      Just to protect myself, I can neither confirm or deny anything that Alex said about Mike Beaudet.

  2. Debbie says:

    Many people have “careers” before they have careers. We’ve all heard about girls who strip (because sex-related industries pay bank) to pay their way through college. How many of them ended up being exceptional teachers and we just never knew about their past? These films were made before he took the teaching job, that’s all that matters. As a parent I might have an issue if he were still at it but probably not. Though you saying one has nothing to do with the other is incorrect. If/when he goes back to teaching he now has to deal with the students/parents/staff knowing, and he’ll have to forever battle that reputation. Kids especially will make it difficult for him unless he finds a way to, I dunno, spend one day discussing it and then let it go? Answer questions? It will always be there in the background.

    There will always be prudish parents. I once, unbeknownst to me, had one of my students follow me into the adult section of a video store. I immediately led her back to her mother but mom knew and pulled all 5 of her kids out of school the next day. I guess kindergarten aids/PTO Presidents can’t even watch porn at home.

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks Debbie! I can’t believe a parent pulled their kids out of school because they knew you watched porn. That seems a little extreme.

      You bring up a good point that even though the students can’t watch porn legally, they will have questions when they find out that their teacher did porn, and their teacher better have age-appropriate answers for them when that day comes.

  3. Robert Jones says:

    This reporter has been ambushing people for years, using skewed and even incorrect information to get people to draw faulty conclusions. In addition to his brazen and tactless methodology, Mike Beaudet goes after people who often simply followed a system which might be broken. For example, law lets a sex offender do maintenance. Ambush the offender. Law lets a teacher who did porn teach, ambush the teacher. Law lets someone double dip in their pension, attack the person. If we believe that there are problems with systems, we need to man up and ask legislators to fix the systems. This man has destroyed careers and lives, caused panics and witch hunts, and exposed children to adult material.

    And every time Fox 25 undercover runs amok, WFXT just hides him for a while in another topic area. They must be VERY DESPERATE.

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      It would be very unfortunate if this is an accurate depiction of this reporter and the station he represents.