Modern-Day Witch Hunt in Massachusetts Uncovers Teacher's Gay Porn Past
Brody Brown, Reporter and columnist
How concerned are you with high school teachers' sex lives? Would you be comfortable knowing the children at your local high school were being taught by a man who had cheated on his wife? What about if they were taught by a woman who had dabbled in lesbianism while she was in college, or a man who had once had a threesome with his boyfriend while on summer vacation last year?
Do teachers have a right to keep their private lives private? And when should any aspect of one's sexual life or past ever be grounds for job termination?
These are just a few of the highly emotional and apparently difficult questions that arise when communities conduct modern-day witch hunts designed to root out, expose and shame people who have had semi-public sexual pasts. The targets of these hunts are usually individuals with sexual histories slightly more colorful than the norm, and often have been paid to have their consensual, sexual performances documented.
In the latest chapter of this fear-mongering crusade, Mike Beaudet, an investigative undercover reporter for FOX Boston, has placed English teacher and crew coach Kevin Hogan in the community's crosshairs, setting the stage for what appears to be the start of another one of these public crucifixions and character assassinations.
Hogan has served as the chair of the English department and crew coach at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, Mass. since September. Besides having a decorated career as a rowing athlete and instructor, Hogan received his undergrad at Northwestern University, his Masters degree at Boston College, and cumulatively has had over 20 years of experience teaching at the secondary and college levels. Aside from his tutorial work, Hogan also edited the very recently released first memoir written by a member of the African-American transgender community, Toni Newman's I Rise. And he also happens to have had a brief stint in the adult film industry that involved some website work and the filming of three videos: Magnus studio's Fetish World 1, Top Dog Production's Just Gone Gay 8, and another more explicitly titled film with Epic Distribution.
And yet somehow the porn work that he did in the last couple of years when he was living in Los Angeles overshadows and invalidates all of his experience and qualifications as an educator.
Hot on the investigative hunt, reporter Mike Beaudet allegedly received a tip leading him to a site that showcased some of Hogan's past work, which he then revealed to the school. Armed with visuals from the films, he also confronted Hogan, on camera.
"You starred in some pretty interesting movies," FOX reporter Mike Beaudet said to Hogan as he tried to bait him.
"Do your students know that you've been in these movies?" Beaudet asked. "Do you really think it's appropriate to be working with kids?"
"Hytch Cawke, that's an interesting name. Where'd you come up with that?" Beaudet smarmily shot at Hogan as the teacher got into his own car.
In their investigation, FOX Undercover also spoke with several parents from the school, to get their reactions. "I'm disturbed. I'm surprised," said one parent to whom Beaudet handed visuals from the Fetish World website. She went on to say that she thought "this is scary," in the same breath that she also noted that "the kids really love him. He's been a great addition to the team."
When the FOX 25 reporter asked another parent if she was "bothered" by the revelation, she said, "Very much so. Especially since he's teaching our children. Every day. It does bother me a lot."
Hogan is on paid administrative leave while the school investigates, and the charter school told FOX 25 in a statement that they "value the health and safety of their students." That's great and all, but how does the students' general "health" and "safety" relate to the uncovering of Hogan's past in porn?
Sorry, but was any of the sex non-consensual? Did the films feature use of illegal substances? Or were they filmed with minors?
Perhaps it was filmed while Hogan was employed at Mystic Valley Regional?
Also, according to FOX 25, the school sent a note out to parents today explaining that they are clear that all job applicants must be "candid and forthright" about their past employment. This statement appears as if Mystic is beginning to set itself up for an easy out should they ultimately decide to hand Hogan his walking papers. But now that this undercover report has broken and attempted to fan the flames of sexphobes and arch-conservatives, will there be any way Hogan can keep his job?
Should he be entirely to blame for not including something like Just Gone Gay 8 on his résumé when it has nothing to do with teaching? Do you tell potential employers about the summer you worked at a frozen yogurt store three years ago when you're applying for a marketing job? And would Hogan have had any shot at the job if he had admitted to his past film work and given administrators a chance to dig deeper and find out exactly what type of porn it was?
A spokesman for Massachusetts' Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the organization that gave Hogan his educator's license, told FOX 25, "We expect teachers to hold a very high moral standard. They are role models for students."
How exactly is this moral standard being determined, and who is doing the determining? Surely it must be people with absolutely immaculate "moral" records.
And how could exercising one's sexuality and filming it in this manner be considered immoral? Or, for that matter, dangerous in some way, or seriously criminal?
If someone has gotten a speeding violation before or cheated on their taxes, is it appropriate for them to be working with kids? Isn't that a reflection of a reckless person who chooses to ignore the law? What about someone who smokes cigarettes or has been married a number of times?
The very purposeful and public exposure of Hogan's past work is particularly disturbing considering that it seems to continue a growing trend illuminated recently as other porn stars have been fired or publicly scolded for aiding the education process of children.
In August, Sean Loftis, a Florida substitute teacher who had filmed gay adult movies under the name Collin O'Neal, had his teaching credentials revoked once the Miami-Dade County public school system found about his porn past. This happened even though he, too, had given up filming porn to pursue teaching.
Earlier this month, parents of children at Emerson Elementary School in Compton, Calif. expressed outrage that recently retired porn star Sasha Grey had read to first- and third-grade students at the school for Read Across America Day.
I'm sorry, did these former porn stars flash these kids at any point? Solicit sex from them or screen an old film they starred in? Was there a moment when any of them encouraged these kids to follow in their footsteps and pursue porn careers?
Also this month, a high school teacher in Stockton, Calif. was put on leave after it was found that she had maintained pornographic websites -- including mysluttyteachers.com -- from a laptop the school had given her. Perhaps in this situation, since the teacher was operating these sites while employed as a teacher and using domain names that capitalized on her profession, public rebuke of this incident makes sense.
But in the incidences of Grey, Hogan, and Loftis? Surely the public condemnation of this former porn stars betray people's puritanical sexphobia.
It's really something the way America can hear account after account from women who insist that they were sexually harassed by a particular Republican presidential candidate, yet still a huge population of folks insists that it would vote for him. And isn't it remarkable how in the case of another Republican presidential candidate who once cheated on his cancer-stricken wife, we can so conveniently, come election season, suddenly forgive him for what most would surely agree to be a morally egregious extramarital affair?
Are these men more easily forgiven because their "transgressions" weren't as thoroughly documented, or because they engaged in hetero-erotic encounters?
Is it perhaps even more outrageous and incomprehensible to people that Kevin Hogan performed in these homosexual films though friends and associates link him to relationships that would otherwise be considered traditionally heterosexual? FOX 25 even chose to go so far as to air a clip from Epic Distribution's movie, where Hogan begins the scene with a sweet admission of his own inexperience: "Hi, this is Hytch. And I just answered the ad and now I'm here to see what it's like to be with a guy." Acting or not, does that make Hogan's "crime" all the more reprehensible in the eyes of his accusers?
Though I'd be absolutely shocked if the outcome of Hogan's evaluation results in anything other than his termination, it is at least somewhat comforting to see many residents in the school's area and students commenting on FOX 25's web article, decrying the nature of the report, the tactics of the reporter, and coming to the support of Kevin Hogan. It's a remarkable thing, the Christian ethic of forgiveness.
unless they've been convicted of an offence, their personal lives are their own business
unless they've been convicted of an offence, their personal lives are their own business
I don't understand the hypocrisy in not allowing most anyone (including a porn actor) from breaking away from their past and trying to make a better life for themselves.
The college professor who was arrested for possessing and viewing child pornography on a plane, was immediately suspended from his teaching job.
Interesting when we are talking about a student body that are mainly legal adults and not children as in high school or lower grades.
Would not be at all good to had your PhD sponsor get suspended for example.
Online community rallies around embattled Mystic Valley teacher
by Matt Byrne
December 2, 2011
Members of the Mystic Valley Charter School community have mounted an online defense of embattled English teacher Kevin Hogan, who was accused in a Fox 25 report Tuesday of concealing from the school that he acted in pornographic movies.
More than 2,500 people have backed a Facebook group calling for the dismissal of FOX 25 reporter Mike Beaudet, who first broke that Hogan acted in three pornographic films in 2010, before he was hired at Mystic Valley.
Many of the posters identify themselves as current or former students at the Malden charter school.
A separate petition online, apparently started by a Tulsa man, has garnered 450 signatures also calling for Beaudet's ouster.
"Fox, you ruined his life," wrote one commenter, Charles Dobranowski. "Again, for what? Rating? Interest? Utter shame."
"Do you really get your kicks out of ruining a good positive person's career and life," asked Nick Matthews, in a comment today. "So what, [Hogan] did some porn, I'm sure Mike Beaudet has some demons in his closet waiting to spring out."
The story has drawn the attention of at least one high-profile advocate. GLBT-rights firebrand Dan Savage, also a writer at Seattle's alt-weekly newspaper The Stranger, who writes the syndicated column Savage Love, has called for Beaudet to receive the same treatment that he has bestowed on Hogan.
So far the school has been mum on Hogan's employment status. Both Mystic Valley and Hogan have retained legal counsel, said Rick Veilleux, business manager for the school.
As of this morning, Hogan's name continues to appear on the Mystic Valley website as English chair.
In an interview that aired last night, Beaudet said the story was generated by a tip from a viewer.
FOX Undercover asked Glenn Koocher, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, where schools should draw the line when considering a prospective hire’s past.
“Participating in some art form that could be considered pornographic is no longer a private matter. It's a public matter because you are appearing before the public in some type of art form that may or may not be legal or appropriate or as an alternative that just may or may not reflect good and sound moral character,” Koocher said.
Koocher added that “sound moral character” was an essential attribute when considering potential educators because it’s a prerequisite for getting a teacher’s license from the state.
Naked truth: Porn, teachers don’t mix
By Margery Eagan
December 1, 2011
Fox News Boston has reported that a well-liked Mystic Valley Regional Charter School teacher — and chairman of its English department — allegedly appeared in three gay pornographic films within a year or two of his September hiring at the highly ranked Malden high school.
Kevin Hogan is on paid leave while the school investigates. Upset students have started a Facebook page called “We Want Mr. Hogan Back.” Some stunned and angry parents say he has to go.
Those parents are right.
If Hogan, apparently a terrific teacher, made these movies 10 or 20 years ago — perhaps to finance his education — he could probably get through this mess.
If he made them last year but had a different occupation — say a stockbroker or even a college professor — I’d give him a pass.
But his students are teenagers. Teachers are supposed to be moral exemplars. They’ve been fired for such minor infractions as appearing online, on vacation, with cocktails in hand. “This is a big lapse of judgment. You have to put aside any hopes and dreams of being a porn star when you want to teach kids,” said Sue O’Connell, co-publisher of Bay Windows, New England’s biggest newspaper for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community.
And what will Hogan’s teenage students do now? They’ll Google “Just Gone Gay 8” and see their teacher, according to Fox News, totally naked surrounded by men in various states of undress and arousal.
English class can never be the same.
There’s something creepy about this story. I was stunned by the number of commenters on the Fox website who defended Hogan (he’s done nothing illegal, they say) and trashed Fox reporter Mike Beaudet for “ruining” Hogan’s life.
There’s something hypocritical here, too. Millions of us spend hours a day watching pornography online. Yet when we find someone who made money performing in what’s become our second — or maybe third — favorite national pastime, it’s off with his head.
Normally I’d say the punishment here — losing your job and your reputation, and being shamed from coast to coast — doesn’t fit the crime. But there was no crime here. Filming pornography is legal.
So instead I’ll say that Hogan, if he did act in these films, made a stupid mistake, showed horrible judgment and should have considered the likely ramifications.
Yes, he should lose his job. But he doesn’t deserve the nightmare headed his way.
Quote:Modern-Day Witch Hunt in Massachusetts Uncovers Teacher's Gay Porn Past
Brody Brown, Reporter and columnist
How concerned are you with high school teachers' sex lives?
* * * *
This statement appears as if Mystic is beginning to set itself up for an easy out should they ultimately decide to hand Hogan his walking papers. But now that this undercover report has broken and attempted to fan the flames of
sexphobes and arch-conservatives, will there be any way Hogan can keep his job?
Here is another article on the same story
Do you think a teacher should be fired for past activities such as this?
Do teachers have a right to keep their private lives private?
How can filming porn be illegal if it's all over the internet, on dvds, etc? I don't get it.
I'm not even sure the teacher is gay, David, although he appeared in gay porn films.
The issue with the school seems to be that he was in several porn films,
and never disclosed this past employment when he was hired.
I don't really think homosexuality is an issue with this case.
If that is not the objection, then what is the objection??
Teacher suspended for alleged porn site activities
By Joel Siegfried,
News Analysis Examiner
November 21, 2011
Heidi Kaeslin, a 35-year-old special education teacher at Lincoln High School in Stockton, California has been placed on paid leave after charges that the woman had created and was featured in several alleged pornographic websites, according to reports published on Friday, November 18, 2011 by the International Business Times, LA Late, LA Weekly, CBS News, the Daily Mail, the San Francisco Chronicle, Fox News, and other sources.
The Lincoln Unified School District, where Ms. Kaeslin teaches, is investigating reports made by Trent Kaeslin, her ex-husband, that MySluttyTeacher.com and other alleged sites registered at her Stockton home address were created using an Apple laptop computer issued by the school.
Jealousy of Ms. Kaeslin's relationship with Richard Fields, a Stockton police officer who retired from the force last May and who helped to design the websites, may be the motivation behind these charges.
Kaeslin has been employed by the school district for almost 10 years, and previously was assigned as the girls' soccer coach.
Shortly after she was hired in 2002, the district adopted a Code of Ethics of the Education Profession setting forth standards of conduct and behavior requiring teachers "to adhere to the highest ethical standards and to attain and maintain the highest possible degree of ethical conduct."
That broad policy makes no mention of outside business interests. However, it does specify that violation of the code "involve jeopardy to student welfare; evidence malice, serious incompetency or bad judgment; or show a consistent pattern of misconduct."
Not everyone feels that Ms. Kaeslin should be punished for her website activities. According to LA Late, her former students are supporting her, coming forward to say that they loved her as their teacher and don’t see any wrongdoing with her alleged actions.
Most of the controversial material on the alleged websites have been removed. There is also evidence that the sites were active for only one day in February 2011, as seen in the attached slide show which accompanies this report.
However, some incriminating text remain as a mission statement on a site offering T-shirts, saying "This company was created by a young teacher who was inspired, after her male students spent most of the period staring at her boobs, to create the 'I Heart Teachers' shirt."
The conduct of teachers and their relationship to their students has long been under scrutiny. Sexual affairs with minors by teachers, coaches, and other adults have always been considered taboo, a line not to be crossed. That has been underscored by the recent alleged sex abuse incidents involving children at The Pennsylvania State University.
Whether or not the Lincoln High School matter will result in Ms. Kaeslin's removal will depend on a legal interpretation of employment law and school district policies.
One positive benefit from all the publicity this matter has received in the U.S. and international media is that web traffic to the student store at the school has been brisk. The site sells clothing with the logo of the school, "LHS Trojans", but will probably not carry Ms. Kaeslin's "I Love Teachers" T-shirts.