A young woman who teaches in my county was asked to resign back in August for something she posted on Facebook. She has now filed a lawsuit, and the proverbial poo-poo has hit the proverbial fan.
If you want to read the whole story, here's the link. It's a pretty good read just to see all the folks who have commented (both ways) on her situation.
If you don't want to read the whole story, I'll summarize it for you.
She posted a picture of herself with a **gasp** glass of wine in her hand while she was on a trip to Europe. During the summer. Not on a school function. Not even during school time.
In a status update, she referred to an invitation to attend something called **gasp** Bitch Bingo at a metro Atlanta restaurant.
She was advised to resign, told by her principal (whom I actually like a LOT) that she could not win because of the combination of the word and the alcohol pictured. If there had been only ONE of those, she would have been fine.
I am positive there are sides of this issue of which I am blissfully unaware.
Her Facebook status was set to "private," and she had friended no students or parents. Yet some parent complained about the objectionable (?) content, hence the coercion for her to resign. She has not even been able to ascertain the identity of her accuser, and isn't that somewhere in the Constitution or the Pledge of Allegiance or the Star Spangled Banner or something?
I can see the point of those people who say that as a teacher she should have known not to post "objectionable" material on something as public as Facebook. Some even say that at 24 years of age, she should have known her rights concerning a hearing, due process, and suspension, and she should not have agreed to resign.
Come on, people! She was called out of her classroom on a Thursday morning when she has probably focused on getting 35 ninth graders to sit down and shut up long enough to discuss the pertinent themes in To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm exactly twice her age, and I'm not sure I would have known what to do in that situation. Except possibly to say, "Screw you, I'm two and a half years from retirement."
What she was doing in the picture is neither illegal nor immoral nor even reprehensible. How is it different from a student spotting her having a glass of wine with a meal in a restaurant? I THINK our county actually has a restaurant that serves wine. Probably from a screw-top bottle.
There is a new policy before our board of education right now concerning this matter (timing is everything, no?), and part of it says that teachers can be disciplined for posting information including, but not limited to, "provocative photographs, sexually explicit messages, use of alcohol, drugs or anything students are prohibited from doing."
A lot of students are prohibited from driving. Can I get in trouble if I post a picture of myself driving?
How about voting?
Wearing flip-flops when I'm not at school?
I'm guessing I could be reprimanded/suspended/terminated/asked to resign for this blog. I don't give students the address, nor do I mention that I have one, but I guess one of them or their busy-body parents could stumble across it. It wouldn't be terribly difficult for them to figure out my identity, not in our
You'll have to excuse me now. I'm going to post the word "bitch" on my Facebook status.