Teacher's Firing Over Alleged Porn Career: A Teaching Moment for Parents

12/04/2011 04:00 pm ET | Updated Feb 03, 2012

With the recent article in the Boston Globe reporting that Kevin Hogan, an English teacher and chair at a charter school in Boston, has been put on leave while the allegations that he starred in porn videos is being investigated, it is a perfect opportunity to teach kids about how private actions put on video or film can come come to haunt you later in life.

I don't like the way the Fox News reporter surprised the man in person with a camera and a microphone because I feel like it just assumed guilt and gave the story more of a sleazy feeling. It also made me wonder how the reporter came upon these videos but that's another matter and his private business, right?

I do however disagree with the many people who responded to Fox's poll in support of Hogan. I definitely feel that if he is the same man who acted in these porn films, he should not have been hired by the school or licensed for that matter as a teacher. The reason is simple -- teachers are expected to be models for students according to New York State Ethics for Teachers: "They establish and maintain clear standards of behavior and civility. Educators are role models, displaying the habits of mind and work necessary to develop and apply knowledge."

While I do believe what anyone does sexually in the privacy of their own home or relationship is exactly that, private, and none of an employer's business as long it's not illegal, once you take a video, photo and put it out in the public domain it is obviously not private. The line between your private and professional life has to be ironclad in most professions.

Many students are of course coming to their teacher's defense which is understandable since they're kids and may have a deep emotional connection to him. But as a parent, I do believe that if he is the same person as in the films, he mislead his employers and the head-hunting company and might be legally at risk on many counts and has justifiably been put on leave until they can find out the truth. It is curious to me that in England a teacher in a similar situation was reprimanded but legally allowed to teach.

In any case, it's a great teaching moment, parents! Many students post photos of themselves or their friends on Facebook or other social media sites all the time without the understanding that once it's out in the public domain it is part of your resume! I remember a story a few years ago on NPR about a student and writer at the Harvard Crimson who wrote about his sexual exploits in great detail. He asked the university to take down the posts and they refused under the Freedom of Speech Act. He eventually held a "funeral" for his legal name because he eventually wanted to attend graduate school and become a teacher.

In the pre-Internet world, childish or adolescent pranks were left well, in the past. It did not become a comment on your moral character for the admissions board at the law school to which one applied. It is a brave new world in many ways. If you want to explore the many facets of your sexuality in a legal, consensual manner, do it old school, IN PRIVATE, which means no one taking oral, video tape or photo documentation. IN PRIVATE means only you and the person you're with can remember the experience. In both of your memories.