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One of my favorite bloggers, Jon Hyman, was just saying
recently that social
media and privacy cannot coexist. Even on their own time -- out of the
office -- what employees say and do online can have an impact on the workplace.
Teachers are prime examples,
and yet another educator has found the headlines for being outspoken online.
The Washington Post reports here
that a NJ school district is looking into claims that a high school teacher
criticized a school display recognizing Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender
History Month on her Facebook page and wrote that homosexuality is
"perverted" and "breeds like cancer." According
to NBC Philadelphia, gay rights activists planned to protest at a school
board meeting last night to urge the school district to discipline the teacher.
The school is still investigating the incident. Earlier this year a Florida
high school teacher was suspended and later reinstated following
Facebook comments he made against gay marriage.
Meanwhile, Fox10 reports here
that, in Alabama, a special-education teacher posted a picture in which he dons
a protective helmet that one of his students wears in physical-education class.
On his Facebook page, which is public, the teacher further commented about
children going to the bathroom on themselves and eating crayons and complains
about how frustrated he is. The school district has since placed the teacher on
As you will no doubt recall from reading this blog, a
Pennsylvania school teacher also was suspended
and later reinstated
after making caustic remarks about her students on a personal blog.
Employees will use social media in ways that will
occasionally create discord with their employer. But what is the appropriate
response? Fire? Suspend? Warning? Nothing? Good question. Employers --
especially schools because these incidents seem to grab the headlines -- no
doubt have some tough decisions to make when it comes to disciplining teachers
based on their use of social media off-hours.
This article was originally published on Eric B. Meyer's blog, The Employer
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