Posted by Marcia Dick November 30, 2011 07:30 PM
"Generally, the expectation of any education system ... is that [pornography] isn't an appropriate background to be working with kids," said Mayor Richard C. Howard.
Kevin F. Hogan was identified as a former adult star in a Fox 25 report that aired Tuesday. Since then, Hogan, hired by the Malden charter school in August to head the English department, has been placed on paid leave pending a school investigation.
“This is more an issue about licensure,” said Howard, who is also a lawyer. “But once the tip has been made, it’s an appropriate field of conversation for the employer.”
Mystic Valley officials declined to comment on the investigation yesterday.
"I can understand completely the charter school's interest in doing their investigation and due diligence, before they render a decision," said Malden mayor-elect Gary Christenson. "I think it's always to be better safe than sorry."
Howard chairs the Malden School Committee, but the board has no power over the charter, which answers to an independent board of trustees. Malden City Councilor Neil C. Kinnon, chairman of the Mystic Valley trustees, did not return multiple calls for comment.
Since the revelation, Mystic Valley parents and community members have raised questions about Hogan's fitness to teach, and whether a teacher’s prior work experience, unrelated to teaching, is fair game.
In a statement to parents, Mystic Valley said Hogan did not report his past work as an adult actor, and that no complaints were registered by either parents or students. The school said it performed all the regular background checks, in California where he used to live, and in Massachusetts.
Marilyn Errett, spokeswoman for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, said the state has no record of Hogan teaching in the state.
In Massachusetts, regulations require applicants to possess “evidence of sound moral character,” according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Hogan was first licensed to teach in Massachusetts in 1998, when he was awarded a provisional license to teach grades 5 through 12, according to a copy of his teaching license application provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
A resume he submitted in July of 1997 for the license application says he graduated in 1988 from Northeastern University, where he earned an English degree, and two years later from Boston College, where he earned his master’s degree, also in English.
From 1989 to 1997, he held five different classroom jobs, including a two-year stint at Saint Clement High School in Medford, where he was an English and writing instructor, and a yearlong job as an assistant professor at the University of Charleston in West Virginia, according to his resume.
He also taught at The Gunnery, a preparatory school in Washington, Conn., the resume said.
Included in the application was a letter from Keith. R. Manville, who was then-acting superintendent of the Beverly Schools, seeking to expedite Hogan’s license so the district could hire him. In a phone interview, Manville, who is retired from education, said he did not remember Hogan.
The story has drawn a breadth of responses from Mystic Valley parents, some of whom advocate for Hogan’s immediate ouster, while others have taken more nuanced approaches, according to Ann Carroll, , a member of the Parent Advisory Council.
“People are discussing whether it's an issue of what he did, or what he didn't say in the interview process,” said Carroll, a parent of a Mystic Valley fourth-grader.
“A lot of the parents are using this as a learning experience for their children, to show that different choices have different consequences,” Carroll said.
Matt Byrne can be reached at Mbyrne.Globe@gmail.com.