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Teachers, Check Your Freedoms at the Door

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Modern School Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:28 PM
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Teachers, Check Your Freedoms at the Door
A first-grade teacher in Paterson, N.J., was suspended with pay last week for saying on her Facebook page that she felt like a warden overseeing future criminals. She was disciplined after parents complained to the school and starting asking that their kids be removed from her class, the NY Times reported today.

The teacher has not yet commented on the incident. However, her attorney indicated that administrators who care about kids focus on what goes on in the classroom rather than policing their employees private comments. My guess is that they never would have known about the Facebook comments had the parents not complained. If there is one thing that will bring administrators to their knees quickly it is being pestered by parents.

This is now the second time in the last few months that a teacher has been suspended for making negatives comments about their students on the internet. A teacher was also fired from Imagine Prep charter school in Los Angeles for having political bumper stickers on her car and another California teacher was recently sued by a student for calling creationism superstitious nonsense.

Workers do not have free speech on the job. In fact, we lose many of our civil liberties in the workplace. Bosses can (and routinely do) spy on employees, monitor computer keystrokes, and discipline them for saying things that they do not like (or that students complain about). In fact, teachers are often disciplined for saying things at school that are considered inappropriate or unprofessional, sometimes based entirely on hearsay or a single students accusations.

The problem is that the Paterson teachers comments were made outside of work, where the school should not have any jurisdiction. One could certainly make a good case that her comments showed poor judgment or were unprofessional, but the school cannot and should not attempt to control it punitively. Allowing schools to punish employees for their behavior off campus harkens back to the days when teachers had to be men, or young single females. Getting married or pregnant was grounds for termination. Such reasoning would justify firing a teacher for being drunk in public nowhere near school, or for going to a gay bar outside of work hours, or for attending an anti-war rally. It would also justify firing teachers for writing blog posts, editorials or articles critical of their schools, districts or education policy in general.

Modern School
http://modeducation.blogspot.com/
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Chipper Chat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Stay away from Facebook.
(Just statin' my opinion).
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The Philosopher Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 01:10 AM
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2. It's not enough
to work for a conservative boss, now they get to tell you what you do outside the classroom under the pretense "You're hurting the business!" They should pay the worker more if they represent the business both at work and at home, because there needs to be some form of compensation for giving up that separation that many people need. And minimum wage, no job security and no or useless benefits isn't enough, in my opinion. Why give up your private life for an organization that doesn't have your interest in mind? I know what a Republican would say: you should be damn lucky for the opportunity to work, you lazy bum!

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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 02:02 AM
Response to Original message
3. Remember the young female teacher who got fired for posting
Edited on Sun Apr-03-11 02:06 AM by tblue37
a picture of herself with a mug of beer and a glass of wine during her summer vacation in Ireland? (Actually, she was forced to resign or be fired.)

Here's a link to the story, plus an excerpt:
http://educationtechnews.com/teacher-forced-to-resign-o... /

Whats wrong with posting your vacation pictures on Facebook? It might cost you your job, as one high school English teacher in Georgia recently learned the hard way. Heres what happened:

After a whirlwind European tour during the summer, teacher Ashley Paine returned home and posted her vacation pictures on Facebook.

When school started in August, the principal called her into his office and asked if she had pictures of herself drinking alcohol on Facebook.

The 24-year-old teacher confirmed that she had posted pictures on her private Facebook account. They were taken during vacation and showed her holding a glass of wine and a mug of beer.

<snip>

The picture that got her canned:



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Modern School Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Fired for Using DU?
Facebook is in the public's eye much more than DU, but why couldn't they fire you for saying something unpopular here, too?
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I am quite sure that they could just as easily do so. nt
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