Saturday, October 03, 2015

Update from Old Friend of the Blog (or, Kevin Hogan Is Back!)

Four years ago, I blogged about my old friend and colleague Kevin Hogan, a Massachusetts teacher who was ambushed in a parking lot by a Fox News reporter peddling a sex scandal.
Kevin has been suspended from his job. He is in real danger of being fired. And he will likely never find another job as a teacher. That is a sad thing, and not just for Kevin.  Teaching may be the single best thing he does for the world, and the world will be much the poorer if he leaves the classroom.
I was afraid that Kevin's educational gifts - and Kevin is a genuinely gifted educator - would go to waste, unused. But last week I got a surprise e-mail from out of the blue: Kevin Hogan, who has now become an LGBT activist. I cannot tell you how pleased and relieved I am to hear that news. If Kevin is being kept out of classrooms, his talents as a teacher and communicator can still benefit us all in the public square.

And Kevin does have important things to teach us, not least the hard truths of surviving the 21st century's vicious public shaming. He's currently finishing a book, Healing Stigma: A Survivor's Guide to Repairing Identity in the Internet Age, and I am looking forward to reading it. This is news that stays news. We don't yet have our minds around what we, in the internet age, are doing to private individuals, but Kevin's experiences and his thoughtful reflection can help us understand. Here is Kevin on the recent Ashley Madison hack, something widely taken as an opportunity for gleeful internet heckling:
On the morning of August 19th, I woke up early and went online to check the news. A headline in the business section caught my eye: "Ashley Madison infidelity site's customer data 'leaked.'"
A chill crept over me. I ran to the bedroom, where my wife was just waking up. She must have recognized a familiar look on my face, because she immediately reached for my hand and asked what was wrong.
"People are going to die," I whispered to her, dreading the words as I said them. 

You can read the rest of Kevin's post here. It's very much worth the read.

Welcome back to the fight, Kevin. This time, I know our side will win.

cross-posted from, and comments welcome at, Dagblog

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