Teachers and Facebook: “Don’t do it.”

I asked Tim Callahan of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators about teachers and Facebook in the wake of the messy Barrow County case in which a young teacher resigned after her principal discovered that she had posted Facebook photos of herself drinking in Europe and had posted the word “bitch” as in “I am going to play Crazy Bitch Bingo.”

(See my earlier posts on this if you are unaware of the story. Ashley Payne is now suing and the case has sparked hundreds of comments here at Get Schooled, most in her support.)

Callahan told me:

“We have talked to teachers about their expectations of privacy in this new world. As American citizens, they have a First Amendment Right to have a Facebook page, but we are telling them, ‘Don’t do it.”’

In my interview with Payne last week, she said her teacher pals are frightened after what happened to her.

“My colleagues are scared to death because they are afraid that this is some strange witch hunt. Most of them have changed their names on Facebook or taken their entire Facebook page down,” she said. “They feel  it is an invasion of privacy. It feels like we are not allowed to have personal lives.”

Is it even possible in this day and age to stay clear of Facebook if you are living a full life and get anywhere near a camera?

In a conversation this weekend with three friends, we talked about the Payne case. One friend said the case illustrated why she refused to have a Facebook page. She didn’t want any photos of herself on the Internet.

Well, at that point, one of the other women told her that she was, indeed, on Facebook as snapshots of her were included in a group posted recently by another pal. My friend almost had a heart attack because she did not know and would likely never known as she’s not a Facebook user.

I will admit to one very very funny video of me floating somewhere on the Web. A friend used her cell phone camera to capture my “seizure-like” sideline cheers at my son’s soccer game. I try to adhere to the rules and keep any cheering low-key, but the result apparently is that I have these jerky motions where I get poised to yell or stand up and then quickly restrain myself. I have refused to find and watch it, but others have told me it’s quite amusing.

Very often, the posters to Get Schooled say it much better than I can. Here is a teacher response to this issue that I think says it all:

I have been debating all weekend about whether or not to take down my FaceBook page. My mother insists that I should do so, just in case, but I don’t feel there is anything inappropriate included on my page. I try to be careful of how I am photographed in any situation because many of my friends have pages where they post photos. So even if I remove my page, there are still photos of me on the internet. I use FaceBook to keep in touch with relatives and friends who live all over the country, and it bothers me that, as a teacher, I can’t enjoy the same format of communication enjoyed by so many others. What concerns me most, however, is that one anonymous email can derail a career in so short a time. I have been teaching for seven years now, and it seems each year the cons list grows while the pros list diminishes…sigh!

130 comments Add your comment

AnonymousTeacher

November 16th, 2009
2:20 pm

I have been debating all weekend about whether or not to take down my FaceBook page. My mother insists that I should do so, just in case, but I don’t feel there is anything inappropriate included on my page. I try to be careful of how I am photographed in any situation because many of my friends have pages where they post photos. So even if I remove my page, there are still photos of me on the internet. I use FaceBook to keep in touch with relatives and friends who live all over the country, and it bothers me that, as a teacher, I can’t enjoy the same format of communication enjoyed by so many others. What concerns me most, however, is that one anonymous email can derail a career in so short a time. I have been teaching for seven years now, and it seems each year the cons list grows while the pros list diminishes…sigh!

Joy in Teaching

November 16th, 2009
2:27 pm

I think that teachers are entitled to private lives. I do have a Facebook account in order to keep up with old high school friends and former students, some of whom are living amazing lives which I would never know about if it hadn’t been for Facebook. . I have one picture there, but friends have tagged me in other pictures such as one from when I was 15 year old at church camp.

Am I now supposed to delete my Facebook account because there are some out there who want to completely regulate how I live my private life? What’s next…will I be expected to divorce my husband because we do have sexual relations occasionally? Not that I ever mention that in class or on Facebook….but goodness knows…someone out there might actually figure that out and report me to my principal.

This stuff is getting to be somewhat silly. I hate to admit it…but I would like to see the ACLU step in on this one…especially since teacher organizations are telling us that we are loosing yet more freedoms because of our profession.

Tony

November 16th, 2009
2:28 pm

Teachers’ behaviors in public are important because the children whom we teach are entrusted to our care for a significant portion of their lives. Parents want to know that we, as teachers, will uphold good moral character as examples for their children to follow. Is this too much to ask? I don’t think so. All who teach should be prudent in all aspects of their lives.

Maureen Downey

November 16th, 2009
2:32 pm

Tony, Is it imprudent for a teacher to be photographed drinking a glass of wine or a beer? If we impose unrealistic restraints on how teachers can live, how can we hope to attract people to the field? I can’t imagine a top law firm censoring an associate because they were photographed in Europe at a cafe drinking wine.
Maureen

AnonymousTeacher

November 16th, 2009
2:42 pm

Thank you, Maureen. I do try to monitor my behavior in public, not just because I’m a teacher, but because that’s how I was raised. However, I am an adult, and if I want to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, that is my legal right. I am getting married next fall. I plan on toasting with champagne and dancing with my husband. I should be able to do those things AND share photos of it with friends and relatives who cannot attend. As the Elephant Man bewailed, “I am not an animal. I am a human being!”

Seriously???

November 16th, 2009
2:43 pm

So if this is this case should married, pregnant teachers be asked to quit because the students will know they are sexually active? This whole thing is so stupid it is unbelievable.

running scared

November 16th, 2009
2:49 pm

Tony is an example of the boot-lickers that currently infest the field of education. This is my third year but it will be the last one. AnonymousTeacher you are right! In my case the cons have quickly outpaced the pros.

csquared

November 16th, 2009
2:53 pm

I think it’s disingenuous to require that teachers be held to ANY greater standard than the PARENTS of these students. All WHO PARENT SHOULD BE PRUDENT IN ALL ASPECTS OF THEIR LIVES as well. but we all know that’s not going to happen. I can’t begin to express my disgust for any anonymous postings that people would attack teachers. If I have a problem with my kids ( 13, 14 and 2) teachers, they hear it FROM ME and not some posting to the principal on the sly. I’m also disgusted with parents that show up for “fun night” but can’t be bothered to go to teacher conferences or to volunteer in the schools. If we want the best teachers, we NEED to encourage the BEST graduates to apply. I certainly don’t want someone that isn’t dedicated to the CRAFT of EDUCATION to be in the classroom. But I fear if we impose unrealistic, out-dated and outmoded ideas and restrictions, we’ll just get those who can’t get work anyplace else. Who among us would PUT UP WITH THIS FROM THEIR EMPLOYER?

irisheyes

November 16th, 2009
3:04 pm

I’m a teacher. I live far away from most of my friends and family and Facebook has been a great way for me to share photos of my kids and what’s going on in our lives. But since I’m held to some imaginary higher standard, I’m not allowed to have my Facebook page? No wonder our best and brightest are going into other careers. Work incredibly hard, don’t get paid enough, be responsible for curing all of society’s ills, and be held to a standard that no one can live up to. Yep, that’s being a teacher!

Albearto

November 16th, 2009
3:06 pm

Since when is it illegal to drink? This is ridiculous. How are children supposed to make their way in the world with blinders on? This stupid country full of holier-than-thou idiots is making me sick. Makes me want to move to Canada.

David S

November 16th, 2009
3:12 pm

Once again, reinforcing the false belief that teachers are somehow better than everyone else. Like politicians, doctors, and everyone else, they are human beings who engage in both legal and illegal activities both on and off the clock.

Unless you pay someone 24/7 to behave according to your standards, GET OFF THEIR BACKS.

Children turn on the news and watch their political and military leaders lying and committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is certainly inappropriate to hold teachers to a lofty standard when we don’t even have the courage to throw our elected leaders out of office (think Marion Berry and W).

Clarence

November 16th, 2009
3:18 pm

As the economy picks up, recruiting and retaining teachers is going to become extremely difficult – even more so than it already is. Furloughs, slashed benefits, and now crazy standards like this. If I’m a bright 23-year-old coming out of college, why on Earth would I choose this career path?

AnonymousTeacher

November 16th, 2009
3:20 pm

Maureen, I appreciate that you have stressed the fact that Ms. Payne did not have students in her “friends” list and that this all began with one, that’s right ONE, complaint. It is really distressing to learn that the complaint was anonymous and that the school system made no apparent effort to verify the source. It simply boggles the mind!

Higher standards

November 16th, 2009
3:27 pm

Teachers know that they are held to a higher standard – it’s part of being a paid role-model! However, the line has to be drawn somewhere…. and having a beer or a swear word on your facebook page is beyond the line to me.

Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself…

still in education

November 16th, 2009
3:27 pm

Yes, I am still in education after many years, and yes, I am on facebook. Like the others here, I agree it is a wonderful way to keep up with long distance friends, family and former students. The key here is the word FORMER. I do not allow current students to be friends with the ability to see my posts. Not that I post inappropriate things, mind you. I have witnessed young teachers become “facebook friends” with current students and often cross the line of becoming too familiar. Facebook (and other sites like this) are wonderful communication tools if used judiciously. We should not have to live our lives in constant fear of scrutinization. A little common sense on the part of everyone would go a long way.

Renee Robbins

November 16th, 2009
3:34 pm

It’s not about if you are on Facebook (FB), but instead how you use it. There are many privacy options that are included in FB that most people do not take advantage of, such as their “lists” functionality. With “lists” a user can set up different permissions for each group of contacts. For example, any classified as “Family” would be able to see everything, but those classified as “Colleagues” would only be able to see the user’s basic information, send them messages, and invite them to participate in FB groups. As others here have suggested there are so many reasons to have a profile on FB – keeping up with family, learning from colleagues, etc. Take a look at these great tips from AllFacebook.com (http://www.allfacebook.com/2009/02/facebook-privacy/).

Hope this helps!
Renee Robbins
http://www.learningputty.com

Bubba

November 16th, 2009
3:36 pm

I think, without question, that teachers should have Facebook posts if they so wish, and that any school system who tries to punish a teacher for having one should pay such a heavy settlement (and, hopefully, a few lopped-off heads) that its school system has to declare bankruptcy. Sorry to the Barrow Co. tax payers, but that’s what happens when morons steer the ship.

Unless I woke up somewhere else, this is America. The “powers-that-be” are doing everything they can (on both sides of the political aisle) to take from us the freedoms for which our founding fathers fought and, in some cases, died. What’s next? A teacher in his/her own house is getting dressed to go to work, one of his/her blinds isn’t quite closed – the cat was playing with it over the weekend and broke the drawstring , a student or parent happens to notice, calls the teacher’s principal, who then calls the teacher into the office and summarily dismisses them without cause or investigation.

No job should require the absence of common sense in order to successfully perform its responsibilities. No job should mandate the absence of due process as a condition of employment. And no school system should ever demand the sacrifice of an individual’s right to life, liberty and the legal pursuit of happiness in order to turn our bright young minds of the future into who….

My anger overrunneth. Bottom line: If you want to look at the problems with schools today, look at the administrators (like this Barrow Co. numb n–) who are more interested in creating a sterile, behaviorally compliant factory of apathetic automatons than they are in creating a basin into which knowledge can be dispensed – by human American citizens – to the thirsty – our children. Can it really be any wonder why Georgia’s education system is continually ranked at the bottom? It’s because our dead-weight admirals and captains – superintendents, school board members and principals – are keeping the educational ship underwater.

Prove me wrong. Stand up for this teacher and show your students what it means to be an American citizen. Unless y’all have been drinking the same kool aid….

TCHR

November 16th, 2009
3:36 pm

I think that somebody (the AJC? or a teachers’ organization?) should dig around and find out every little embarrasing or regretful thing that the Barrow Co. principal has ever done, and publish it for the world to see.

Teacher of the Year

November 16th, 2009
3:41 pm

I was nominated Teacher of the Year last year. This is my seventh and last year teaching. I can not live like this. I am not respected, paid well enough to support my family, and now I am not allowed to have a private life. I wanted to stay in for the students’ sakes, but I can not sacrifice my husband or children any more.

Is this what you want? Do you want teacher miserable? Quitting in droves?

I wish I could say I am selfless enough to continue, but if I can’t even go out and have a life outside of school–what good are those “summers off”?

Anonymous

November 16th, 2009
3:42 pm

If I understand the facts behind this case correctly, Ms. Payne’s Facebook page was restricted to “friends only” and the parent of one of her students accessed it somehow anyway, or their kids did (and then reported it to the principal).
I ask you, HOW could this young lady have done any more to protect her privacy and prevent any unwanted invasion of her life by her students?
I wish her well.

KJ

November 16th, 2009
3:44 pm

Wouldn’t making the facebook page private solve some of these issues? Then, only the users friends can access the information. Anything posted on facebook can be made private so that only friends can see it. I have a facebook page, and it is private. All anyone can see is the profile picture and my name. Just mark it private and watch what picture is posted as the profile picture. Be careful who you add as a friend. Only people authorized by you would be able to see your facebook profile. Then, the need to worry would be significantly lower.

csquared

November 16th, 2009
3:46 pm

Furthermore, if we’re so interested in what teachers do in their time off, then we need to be clear on PAYING THEM FOR ALL THE EXTRA TIME THEY SPEND ON SCHOOL ACTIVITIES. no more free early or -late time in the classroom. You want me to grade papers at home, THEN PAY ME FOR DOING it. No other job out there REQUIRES so much unpaid time. If any other employer tried it, Wage and Hour officials would have a heart attack (and be demanding huge settlements for BACK PAY).
But we tell teachers “it’s part of the job.” If that’s part of it, then what I do in my private OFF-DUTY time is NOT SUBJECT to SCRUTINY (barring I’m arrested or some other such PUBLIC indiscretions). Facebook pages DO NOT rise to that level.

Maureen Downey

November 16th, 2009
3:46 pm

Payne maintains her Facebook page was private. But she did have co-workers as friends.
Maureen

new stepmom

November 16th, 2009
3:50 pm

I am not an educator but have a step child in school and another childon the way. I grew up in small town AL until I was 8yo and went to many social functions with my teachers and future teachers (weddings, church events, etc) and gasp actually saw some of them drinking a glass of wine or beer. It was not a picture but live and in the flesh.

This Barrow county issue is absurd and all teachers should be very scared. Everyone should conduct themselves with grace, dignity and morality because it is the right thing to do-not because they are afraid of being fired from their job. No way should someone lose their job for a picture of drinking a glass of wine. What if a student had run into this teacher at Applebee’s or Ippolitos and she was drinking a glass of wine? Common sense needs to return to school systems….

I am not a huge fan of the ACLU, but feel they should definitely step in on this one…

oldtimer

November 16th, 2009
3:50 pm

I too, use Facebook some to keep in touch with old friends. I am very careful about what I post and what I allow in pictures taken of me. Yes, teachers, police officers, and many other professions are held to a higher standard. When I first began teaching (1974) in a netro couonty in GA teachers had to resign soon as a pregnancy began to show. So times have changed. But, my husband is warning employees in his private office to be carefull about what they post and when he mentors college students he tells them to be even more careful. You just can’t tell everybody everything!!

oldtimer

November 16th, 2009
3:51 pm

thats metro county

abc

November 16th, 2009
3:51 pm

This is an interesting case in that it casts a bright light on something that people otherwise have very quickly come to take for granted.

Specific to the topic, this young lady needs to be given a second chance, and given back her job. She’s probably not even 25 years old, and got caught up in events; in such a scenario, one can almost expect a youngster to choke.

Now, everyone thinks Facebook is all nice and jolly, innocuous, good fun, a way to get in touch with long lost friends, and so on. But does it not take a large measure of being an attention hound to be really motivated to post to it — 700 photographs? That’s a lot of sharing with the world. How about a little sense of personal privacy? We don’t really trust Facebook’s own access control and security/privacy measures, do we?

At the same time, the audience for all that people post is mostly motivated by a sense of voyeurism.

I’m a corporate network and information security professional by trade. My perspectives on things like Facebook and Twitter are certainly colored by that angle. I find them to be social ills within which people give away personal privacy and put their PC’s and information at risk to satisfy nothing very productive. Teachers should know better. Those entrusted with training the minds of America’s young scholars should have awareness of what such things really are.

Surely, there’s nothing wrong with a photo of a young lady with a glass of wine while on vacation in Europe. Just as surely, there’s no good reason to post anything personal on the Internet, especially in a venue that encourages sharing with the world, in a social climate that doesn’t really understand the phenomenon for what it is.

gr1

November 16th, 2009
3:53 pm

privacy settings.. duh. also, use something other than you full name, perhaps your first and then middle. this is not rocket science people.

Phil

November 16th, 2009
3:55 pm

Is the this sign of the times when a anonymous emailer can alert a school board about a teacher who is just having fun? Drinking wine is very normal and the term “Bitch” is also very common term. To have a talented teacher, who has made great strides in a school system not known for much of anything, deserves more than losing her job. I hope that some school system will hire her. Maybe someone should try and find name of the anonymous person and do a background check on her!

csquared

November 16th, 2009
3:59 pm

How quaint, unfortunately for several Georgia school systems, they’re stuck in 1974. Of course the HUSBANDS of those teachers, who might or might not be teachers, administrators (in a different school) or otherwise involved in education would be allowed to keep THEIR JOBS.

Barak

November 16th, 2009
4:14 pm

I am a teacher and I have a facebook page and I drink. I even utter a cuss word or two on rare occassions. If you are a parent and offended by this please ask to remove your child from my classroom! ( maybe that’s how we reduce class size ). Secondly, get out of my life and get into your child’s life…..maybe that will increase test scores and family morale!!

Mid Ga Retiree

November 16th, 2009
4:23 pm

When I was still working in an administrative position, my general policy regarding complaints against employees was “if you can’t write it down and sign your name, don’t bother me with it.”
Even though there may be an occasional exception to this policy, as there is with all policies, anonymous complaints are not worth the time it takes to verify them. This principal, though, doesn’t seem to have taken the time to verify anything. He just took an anonymous complaint at face value and forced the young teacher to resign. This leads me to the question, what was his motive for getting her to quit?

Jenny Wood

November 16th, 2009
4:30 pm

Swimming pools are considered dangerous. People drown in them… but we don’t ban them, we teach people to swim!
There are settings on Facebook to hide your details. We just need to educate people on how to use them.
I have written a post about how to set your Facebook settings for the ultimate privacy. I have my managers and several students on Facebook. Since my students are teachers, this makes the boundaries a little more blurred.
http://jennywood.edublogs.org/2009/08/30/the-dangers-of-using-facebook-for-teaching/

CDog

November 16th, 2009
4:34 pm

I am a teacher and I believe that teachers should be held to a higher standard than other professions because they are out in front of our kids every day. If you want to be immoral, do so in private. I would not want my kids being taught by a teacher that drinks and uses vulgar language. Teachers should be fired over political or religious beliefs, but moral behavior? Yes.

abc

November 16th, 2009
4:35 pm

I find that those who endorse Facebook’s use the most are usually among the 15% of its users that suffer from Facebook Addiction Disorder, the most common of Internet Addiction Disorders.

Is this really as thoughtful as teachers can be on such a subject as this?

Brian

November 16th, 2009
4:38 pm

I love Facebook. Being a teacher is a thankless job. My wife started this year and I know she logs almost as many hours off the clock as she does on the clock. Our kids go to the private school where my wife works and I am very involved in the school. Thankfully we don’t have to deal with the public school bureaucratic stupidity.

Current parent, former teacher

November 16th, 2009
4:45 pm

Thank you for writing about this, Maureen! I taught in the dark ages of the 80’s, when we barely had computers, and certainly didn’t have social networking sites. But I remember being in the grocery store with a bottle of wine and a six pack of beer in my cart and running into families from school. I had nothing to be ashamed of and the families were free to have whatever opinion of me they wanted. I find it appalling that this school system dealt with Ms. Payne in the way they did. Maureen brings up very good points detailing the fact that Ashley Payne did everything possible to keep her FB privacy. But I see this matter as an example of the way teachers (and principals, for that matter) are treated these days. They have no voice in their schools and districts, except to toe the line of the superintendent. They receive all the blame for their students’ failures (and rarely get the credit they deserve). At the very least, Ms. Payne should have her job reinstated. I find myself constantly defending my daughter’s good teachers and principal to the school system hierarchy, because–unfortunately–parents are the ONLY people whose voices are heard these days. (My daughter has teachers who are not good, too, but I try very hard to follow proper channels when making complaints). So, thanks, Maureen. My children are nearly grown and I sometimes think about getting back into teaching, but I won’t teach in a Georgia public school while this atmosphere exists.

KJ

November 16th, 2009
4:45 pm

“If you want to be immoral, do so in private”

Why is drinking immoral, because you say so? Perhaps you should move to Iran or Saudi, they’re really big on imposing morality on others, you’d fit right in.

catlady

November 16th, 2009
4:47 pm

When my mom interviewed with a supt. in the mid 60s in Alabama, at the end of the interview he asked her, “So, Mrs. X: do you smoke, do you drink, and do you use bad language?” She told him “Yes, I smoke; I have on occasion taken a drink, and language-wise I can hold my own with any d***** sailor!” He staggered backward and said, “Well, Mrs. X, it seems that you are very plain-spoken.” And she said, “You will always know where you stand with me.” She got the job.

Maybe we should all quit taking this ****, and get a “teacher advocacy organization” that will stand up for our rights as Americans.

BTW, when I started teaching in 1973 in very rural N. GA, my supt. told me that it could be “looked upon unfavorably” if I wore shorts or hair curlers to the Piggly Wiggly.

To quote Monty Python, “And if you tell young people of today that, they won’t believe you!”

Tony

November 16th, 2009
4:57 pm

Maureen – the community decides its standards. I receive complaints about teachers’ public behavior frequently. Drinking, flirting, spouse-chasing, you name it! It appears that some reading this blog don’t like my response, but it is a reflection of the reality in which we live. Like it or not, teachers are held to a higher standard.

This reality has been reflected in the call for tougher laws regarding cheating on the CRCT, harsher ethics laws for board of education members, and other measures.

Unfortunately, many of the teachers who work tirelessly to help kids learn do not get the credit they deserve. One black mark against one teacher is used to paint a bad picture of all of us.

In my post, I didn’t really state my own opinion about this scenario. I think Barrow county is way out of line. A glass of wine should not get a teacher fired, but the board of education has the authority to do just that.

catlady

November 16th, 2009
5:00 pm

One further comment: what do you expect when these same “educational leaders” adopt a reading series that specifies what the teacher can say, and that REQUIRES ALL THE STUDENTS TO ANSWER IN UNISION WHEN THE TEACHER CLICKS A DOG CLICKER!!! Or the whole class starts over. What do you expect when these same leaders define as “fluency” the ability to call words really fast? And that is how they measure “success.” Never mind that a fluent reader slows down, rereads to check meaning, INTERACTS with the print. Never mind that speed is not what is important in and of itself–UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT!

It is all part of the same mindset. Paperwork before the needs of the student. Appearances are more important than quality. Anyone can be a teacher!

Rickster

November 16th, 2009
5:03 pm

One other thing that hasn’t been discussed in this thread is the use of programs like “Photo Shop.”

Obviously, that’s not the case here, but as we found out with the faked “Sarah Palin with a rifle in the bikini” picture (and hundreds of others,) ANYONE can morphed into a picture with which they had no connection whatsoever. Once the faked picture is out… how do you prove that it’s not real?

Tony

November 16th, 2009
5:06 pm

Maureen – your question about attracting and keeping people in the profession is one that we must try to answer. From my point of view, the politicians are doing more to run off good teachers than any other group of people. Certainly an unfair dismissal is a bad thing and should be handled properly, but there are many more good things happening in our schools that just get ignored. We have many more children who do well because they have access to a free and public education. Seems to me that if the powers that be were really interested in keeping good teachers, they would spend more time sharing the accolades of success.

Xiao Chang

November 16th, 2009
5:09 pm

She had it set on private. Her former boss is a moron. I hope she wins lots of money in court because she has done NOTHING wrong. Drinking is not wrong. Posting a picture of it is not. Cursing is unladylike at worst, but is also provided for under the first ammendment and to my knowledge not illegal or obscene in any sense.

She’s over 21 right? Her students should continue to obey the law until they are 21, then go out and buy her a beer sometime.

I have no doubt the busy bodies at the local church are delighted with ruining this young lady’s life. It’s never enough that they live their lives in the manner they wish, they want you to live your life in the manner they find appropriate as well.

Once you get down to it, how much difference is that from what the Taliban does?

This is coming form a Christian.

Maureen Downey

November 16th, 2009
5:11 pm

Tony, I agree with you that good teachers feel under siege. My concern with the Payne case is that Barrow would have a hard time now getting UGA to send its best and brightest to the county. If I were UGA education professors, I would be on the phone with Barrow asking them about this incident.
Maureen

Principal In Shock

November 16th, 2009
5:27 pm

This is one of the most chilling things I think I have ever read:

Callahan told me:

“We have talked to teachers about their expectations of privacy in this new world. As American citizens, they have a First Amendment Right to have a Facebook page, but we are telling them, ‘Don’t do it.”’

Is Callahan saying that PAGE is telling teachers not to partake in their First Amendment Rights?
Is this what we have been reduced to in this profession and in this country? For goodness sakes – an educator of all people should be standing up for everyone’s First Amendment Rights! Once we give up these rights we are absolutely done as a free people.

Joy in Teaching

November 16th, 2009
5:42 pm

I am currently having the first drink of alcohol that I’ve had since February. It’s a light beer. Enduring spirit week in a middle school does that to a person.

I am locked in my own home which I own free and clear. I am NOT going to take a picture of myself drinking my light beer and put it on my Facebook page. I might even drink the whole thing. And I do admit to saying a swear word on the way home when I had to slam on brakes due to some idgit. Later, I might even go cut off a matress tag or two.

So much for my sense of morality. Maybe I’m not fit to teach students now?

from boot-licker tony

November 16th, 2009
5:45 pm

” A glass of wine should not get a teacher fired, but the board of education has the authority to do just that.”

And thats why we have lawyers!

Maureen Downey

November 16th, 2009
5:51 pm

Joy in Teaching, We can only hope that there is not a small kitchen fire that sends you out on the street with your light beer in hand and your clipped mattress tags. Further, we hope that you do not trip as you flee and utter an expletive overheard by a passing middle school student dressed in spirit wear.
Otherwise, here’s to your health and to a pleasant evening.
Maureen

Principal In Shock

November 16th, 2009
5:55 pm

” A glass of wine should not get a teacher fired, but the board of education has the authority to do just that.”

And Tony, you and I both know that it is an authority that is highly selective as to its targets in many many cases.

It is also one that needs to be sharply reigned in in this State.