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It seems fitting that the school ends with another story about
educators and Facebook. In this case, an elementary school
principal who had been with the district for 21 years resigned rather
than face demotion, due in part to her Facebook postings Some of the posts
which the principal shared included obscenities and the use of the
"b" word in reference to other school employees.
The principal said she had her Facebook account locked down with privacy
settings which limited who could see her posts. In addition, the post
were made on her personal time, and no parent or student could see them.
A spokesperson for the Michigan Association of School Administrators said
her organization had no recommended policy for its members to follow, and that
a number of school leaders were using Facebook incidents as "teaching
opportunities" on proper on line conduct.
Teachers, like everyone else, experience the intersection of their personal and
professional lives. Until there is a Facebook for teachers only, teachers
who bring their frustrations from a day in the classroom home and share them on
Facebook run the risk of becoming "teaching opportunities" for
others. Regardless of free speech issues or privacy rights, teachers need
to take a Facebook sabbatical during the school year and refrain from sharing
stories about their students, co-workers, or administrators during the summer.
For additional Labor and Employment law
insights from John Holmquist, visit the Michigan
Employment Law Connection.
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