This week the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, Massachusetts, put a highly regarded teacher on paid leave after the local Fox affiliate revealed that he has appeared in several pornographic movies. No one alleges that Kevin Hogan, a crew coach who is also head of the school's English department, did anything illegal, and he gets high marks as a teacher. Yet the school is investigating him, ostensibly for giving an incomplete account of his work experience prior to taking his current job. When it broke the story on Tuesday, Fox 25 seemed mostly interested in titillation:

Kevin Hogan is an English teacher and crew coach at a top-rated Massachusetts public high school, but he brings some unusual experience to the job: until recently, he was starring in pornographic movies....

He can also be found on the Internet and in adult entertainment stores under his screen name: Hytch Cawke.

His movie credits include "Fetish World" and "Just Gone Gay 8," and FOX Undercover found his third movie, whose title is not fit to reveal in a family news outlet, in a local adult store. It features him answering an ad to have sex for money.

"Hi, I'm Hytch and I just answered the ad and now I'm here to see what it’s like to be with a guy," he says to the camera.

But Hogan wasn't so talkative when FOX Undercover's camera was on him.

To provide a fig leaf of legitimate public interest, the TV station quoted three parents who were disturbed by the news for no clearly articulated reason, one of whom also said: "The kids really love him. He's been a great addition to the team." The story also noted that Hogan had "flawless references."

In a follow-up segment the next day, Fox 25 reported that the initial piece "sparked a flood of responses, many of them critical of the story. One tweet said 'Kevin Hogan did not deserve that. He's a good teacher with students supporting him.'" The headline on a story posted this morning asks, "Are private lives of teachers truly private?" Which seems like something Fox 25 should have asked before ruining this guy's life.

The closest the station has come to an intelligible justification for its exposé is this quote from a spokesman for the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which also is investigating Hogan: “We expect teachers to hold a very high moral standard. They are role models for students."

So even if everyone concedes a teacher is good at teaching, he is disqualified from the job if he behaves immorally off the clock. Who decides what counts as immoral? Does it have to involve sex? Promiscuity and adultery too, or just making porn? Does it matter whether it is gay or straight porn?

Obviously, no one forced Hogan to make those movies. But should he have taken it for granted that he was throwing away his teaching career by doing so?

[Thanks to Andrew Friedrich for the tip.]