Teachers Can Now Be Fired For Being Human!

Reality check: Teachers are REAL people!  They are not robots, and yes, they make mistakes.  Sure, teachers are role-models with a responsibility to act with dignity and professionalism at all times.  But that doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy the same privileges and opportunities as other people.

To fire a teacher over an innocuous Facebook photo is absolutely disgraceful!

A US teacher was fired for posting a picture of herself holding a glass of wine and mug of beer on Facebook, a report has said.

The happy holiday snap cost Ashley Payne her job after a parent spotted it on Facebook – and complained, the Daily Mail reports.

The picture was reportedly taken while travelling around Europe in the summer of 2009.

According to the Daily Mail, Payne, 24, was shocked when she was summoned to the head teacher’s office at Apalachee High School, in Winder, Georgia, and offered an ultimatum.

She reportedly told CBS News: “He just asked me, ‘Do you have a Facebook page?’

“And you know, I’m confused as to why I am being asked this, but I said, ‘Yes’, and he said, ‘Do you have any pictures of yourself up there with alcohol?’”

He then offered her an option: resign or be suspended.

She chose to resign.

Readers of my blog would be aware that I have previously written about the challenges that Facebook and other forms of social media has on educators and education as a whole.  I have been critical of teachers who post inappropriate material, as well as advised teachers to ensure that their privacy settings are on.  What makes this case different is that this teacher wasn’t doing anything illegal or unprofessional, especially since her settings were switched to private:

The English teacher reportedly later found out it was one anonymous emailer who turned her into the school board after seeing the picture on the social networking site.

But she is baffled how a parent could gain access to her page when she has all her privacy settings on “high””, meaning only her closest friends have permission to see her pictures.

According to the Daily Mail, she admits putting the “offensive” photos on Facebook but says she now feels as if she had stashed them in a shoebox at home for them to be stolen and showed to the head teacher.

Let our teachers have a life!  Let’s not fire every teacher who has holiday photos!

Payne added: “I just want to be back in the classroom, if not that classroom, a classroom. I want to get back doing what I went to school for, my passion in life.”

All those resposible for this teacher’s resignation – shame on you!

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3 Responses to “Teachers Can Now Be Fired For Being Human!”

  1. Margaret Reyes Dempsey Says:

    When I saw that this had happened in Georgia, I figured she was teaching in some ultra-religious private school. I am absolutely stunned that this happened in a public school. I can’t believe it’s legal.

    In New York City, we have teachers accused of much worse, sitting for years in the “rubber room,” doing absolutely nothing, and collecting their full salaries. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.

  2. TheDeeZone Says:

    I am not surprised about this. Historically teachers have been held to a higher moral standard.

  3. Anthony Purcell Says:

    There is no reason for this teacher to lose her job. I do have to say that recently someone tagged me in a photo. I was NOT holding the beer, but there was one in the background. I did untag myself and then sent my friend a private message thanking her for tagging me, but explaining why I had to untag myself. Are we as teachers not allowed to be human and enjoy the same pleasures as “regular” adults?

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