Facebook and teachers: Still a potentially dangerous combination for your career

facebook (Medium)While ex Barrow County teacher Ashley Payne still awaits her day in court over the Facebook page photos of her trip to Europe that landed her in hot water with her principal and to a resignation that she maintains was coerced, other teachers continue to get in trouble over their social networking sites.

Among the latest casualty: A Massachusetts school administrator  resigned at the end of last week after posting on her Facebook page that the parents in her upscale town were  “arrogant” and “snobby.” June Talvitie-Siple was the program supervisor for science and math at Cohasset High School until school officials found out about the comments.

The 30-year veteran also posted that she was, “so not looking forward to another year at Cohasset Schools.” And she called students  “germ bags.” Unlike Payne who limited her Facebook page to her friends, Talvitie-Siple had not restricted the wall of her Facebook page. Parents spotted the comments and alerted the superintendent who asked Talvitie-Siple to resign. She complied, saying that she would have likely done the same thing if she were school chief.

“I made a stupid mistake, it may have cost me my career,” said Talvitie-Siple, who has since changed her Facebook settings and wants other teachers to learn from her mistake.

“I take full responsibility for my stupidity and I hope it serves as an example to kids that they need to be very, very vigilant about their privacy,” she  told ABC News

In a case similar to Ashley Payne’s experience, a sociology professor at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania was suspended for a posting to her Facebook page, which she said she had on the highest privacy settings.

Writing in jest, Professor Gloria Gadsden wrote: “Does anyone know where I can find a very discrete hitman? Yes, it’s been that kind of day?” A few months later, she posted, “had a good day today. DIDN’T want to kill even one student. :-) . Now Friday was a different story.”

As happened to Payne, someone with access to the “private” Facebook page notified the school of Gadsden’s jokes. In Payne’s case, the anonymous note was written by someone alleging to be a parent whose teen was a Facebook friend of Payne’s. Payne says she had no students as friends and no student has ever been found. In fact, the district has yet to determine the source of the e-mail. You can read here why I am pretty sure another teacher wrote the incriminating e-mail that led to Payne losing her job.

In 2008, North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools disciplined seven educators for their social networking postings, including an elementary school teacher who posted derogatory statements about her young students on Facebook.

The teacher listed “teaching chitlins in the ghetto of Charlotte” among her interests on her Facebook profile. In her About Me section, the teacher also wrote,  “I am teaching in the most ghetto school in Charlotte.”

According to the Charlotte Observer:

John Gresham of Charlotte, who represents the teacher, said she only meant to share her comments with friends with access to her page on the popular social networking site. She now faces possible firing for listing “teaching chitlins in the ghetto of Charlotte” among her activities.

“Facebook pages are only meant to be viewed by people permitted to see them,” said Gresham, who questioned how her private postings became public.

On Thursday, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools spokeswoman Nora Carr said the district allows teachers to post personal information online, but had to take action because it affected the teacher’s ability to interact with students and parents. She called the comments racially insensitive or offensive to students at Thomasboro Elementary School, where she teaches. “Clearly, when there is poor professional judgment, it impacts the teacher’s ability to do their job,” Carr said.

CMS officials plan to send a memo to their 19,000 employees saying that Web postings that can be viewed by the public should be appropriate.

A 26-year-old third-grade CMS teacher who did not want her name used, fearing reprisals, said the district hasn’t clearly specified what employees can and cannot post on such sites. Most teachers think if they keep their profiles private, she said, they’ll be safe.

“Our principal encouraged us to use our profiles to post links like ‘Adopt A Classroom’ to bring in potential donors,” she said. “But, given the recent investigations, he also told us to be careful about our Facebook material.”

CMS announced earlier this week it had suspended the teacher and disciplined four others for postings on Facebook. The action came after WCNC, the Observer’s news partner, discovered the pages on the Web site by searching for people who identified themselves as CMS employees.

Postings include photos of female teachers in sexually suggestive poses and a black male teacher who listed “Chillin wit my n—as!!!” as an activity.

In her “About Me” section, the suspended teacher wrote: “I am teaching in the most ghetto school in Charlotte.” Most students at Thomasboro Elementary are minorities from low-income homes.

Gresham said the district took action against her because officials were embarrassed by news reports. He questioned whether it was appropriate for a reporter to air private postings.

He said the teacher is helping the district with grading while she is suspended, and has been sharing lesson plans.

Teachers nationwide have been fired or suspended for online postings. Among them: A Colorado English teacher lost her job for posting her sexually explicit poetry on MySpace, a Florida band director was fired for a profile that included “his musings about sex, drugs and depression,” and a Virginia art teacher lost his job for posting photos of his “butt art,” done by painting his private parts and pressing them onto canvas.

I still go back to what Tim Callahan of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators said in response to the Ashley Payne incident.

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.”’

I think it is good advice. What do you think?

127 comments Add your comment

another concerned parent

August 23rd, 2010
9:08 am

No blog post about the AJC article by Alan Judd yesterday? I’m sure you must have an opinion.

what to think?

August 23rd, 2010
9:13 am

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.”’

I think it is good advice. What do you think?

I think he’s right. And I think it’s sad and pathetic that he’s right, and ultimately to the detriment of society that words become so scary that we as a society don’t think we can handle them, and therefore have to suppress the people who use them.

@another concerned parent

August 23rd, 2010
9:18 am

“No blog post about the AJC article by Alan Judd yesterday? I’m sure you must have an opinion.”

It is very immoral of you to bring this up Another. As Shirley Franklin pointed out, the AJC reporting may very well “destabilize” the situation, and your bringing it up risks throwing APS into chaos.

Why aren’t crisis counselors being sent into the schools to comfort the children who have been destabilized and thrown into chaos?

[...] Read more from the original source: Facebook and teachers: Still a potentially dangerous combination … [...]

Gwinnett Parent

August 23rd, 2010
9:32 am

Boundaries need to be set in stone relating to a teacher’s privacy. Perhaps written procedures and limitations on Facebook usage should be in place. I would like to see a hands off approach to anything private (i.e. sipping wine on vacation). Granted, derogatory comments should not be made public where everyone can see them and commonsense needs to be used. If a teacher cannot contain him/herself, then there might be a serious issue or threat to the students(i.e. wanting to kill students).


August 23rd, 2010
9:37 am

Chaos is a well respected organization. These idiots with FaceBook pages are only receiving the trouble for which they have requested. Have you people not leared yet.

What a society of Stupids.

You Asked

August 23rd, 2010
9:38 am

Good judgement. It’s not just for public anymore.


August 23rd, 2010
9:43 am

The practical reality of life is that certain jobs have always greatly restricted what a person can say in any kind of public setting. I grew up in a clergy family and believe me, neither the minister nor any member of the family can ever really say what they think about any subject, except for the most banal and innocuous remarks. I expect it’s similar for teachers. The problem for teachers, particularly young teachers, is plainly that this new era technology has fooled some into thinking that they can have an online life like their non-teaching friends do. It’s just not smart.

This is where anonymity on blogs like this is such a problem. On the one hand, anonymity tends to promote incivility. On the other, how many teachers could make any kind of meaningful comment here under their real names?

I’m a parent, by the way, and have never been nor aspired to be a school teacher.

Maureen Downey

August 23rd, 2010
9:49 am

@AJincobb, I have been surprised at the expectations put on the spouses of clergy. A former neighbor married to a minister ran into that when her husband took a job in a small Tennessee church mainly attended by older people. She wore jeans to an evening function at the church, and set off a small scandal.

come on now

August 23rd, 2010
9:58 am

yea, sounds like some have no common sense.

BUTT art, i mean really, he had to have second thoughts?


August 23rd, 2010
10:15 am

It is unfortunate that this new era of technology requires us to be careful of what we say or do, even in environments we might consider safe. The general rule should be don’t say or do anything in a public setting that you wouldn’t want to appear on a webpage. As an adult it is somewhat easy but I do worry about our children…..


August 23rd, 2010
10:17 am

Censorship at it’s worst…..folks, if we’re not careful we’re not gonna be able to talk, even in front of our own children lest we be sent to a labor camp :)

drew (former teacher)

August 23rd, 2010
10:18 am

Choices and consequences. The Law of Logical Consequences has not been repealed. If people want to post intimate and personal information on the internet, they should expect that others will see it.

I guess it’s just another sign that I’m becoming an old fart, but I cannot for the life of me understand why so many people feel the need to post every detail of their life, no matter how personal or intimate, for all to see. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc…the communications revolution seems to be creating a generation of people screaming at the top of their lungs to the entire world: Look at me! LOOK AT ME!

And then they’re surprised when someone looks?


August 23rd, 2010
10:35 am

Hmmm, I guess teachers aren’t supposed to have any life outside of school? Maybe the parents should spend less time stalking the teachers and whining about these supposed grievances and more time realizing that their children may actually be getting a great education at school.

I haven’t seen anything in your article that most of us haven’t done, thought, said, or want to do.

Okay, I draw the line at the butt art, but that’s just because my behind wouldn’t fit on the canvas.

You always do me proud Ichabuddy.


August 23rd, 2010
10:41 am

Don’t we live in the United States of America? Is not one of the main reason this country is great is because we have the right to free speech? These people that are turning in teachers for having wine glasses on the table or saying the parents are snobs are the problem. Everyone that loves freedom should rise up and publicly ridicule them for trying to censor another citizens right to free speech. I will do it. You people that are trying to take away someones freedom should be flogged in public. You should be shamed for being trying to control another human beings words. You are a disgusting person as far as I am concerned.

Just my free speech thoughts.

Northview (Ex)teacher

August 23rd, 2010
10:41 am

Northview parents,

You are snobby and arrogant and many of your kids are pains-in-the-butt.


August 23rd, 2010
10:43 am

BTW: Where is the heck is the ACLU? They should be raising cain over this kind of crap.


August 23rd, 2010
10:46 am


Many Americans have a very narrow definition of “freedom”. The freedom they love and cherish is their own freedom from taxation. That’s it. Others’ freedoms, particularly freedom of speech, no, they’re not really in favor of that.


August 23rd, 2010
10:48 am

And to the school systems that are even thinking about asking for or forcing the resignations of these teachers, what in the heck are you teaching our children? Not any morals or values that I would like you to teach my children. Lets see, you kids must conform to group think and can not have any independent thought? The bill of rights does not matter for everyone in our country? If you do not like what someone says then tell on them instead of dealing with it?


August 23rd, 2010
10:52 am

@ AJinCobb, I know exactly what you are saying. We the people need to stand up and tell these people to get a life and we are not going to be censored because they get their little feelings hurt. These people need to grow the heck up and deal with it.


August 23rd, 2010
11:00 am

drew (former teacher), I know I disagree with things Maureen writes on this blog and really disagree with some of the statements by some of the bloggers. I would never write the paper and tell them Maureen should be fired for what she said. Matter of fact, I will come stand by her and fight to my last breath for her right to say it and for the other bloggers right to say it. This is the signal we should be sending too and teaching our children.

An advocate for public education change & choice

August 23rd, 2010
11:00 am

The expectation of data privacy when posting on the social networking sites that have become in alot of cases quasi-required business tools (i.e. facebook, twitter, linkdin et al.) is of rising concern.

The legal lines are very blurry and to the best of my knowledge there has not yet been a precedent legal case to bring some clarity to the surface. I think the simple rule in today’s climate is to expect that nothing you post on these sites are private (dispite the settings they these sites offer). Surely there are many corporate concerns who specialize in gathering up data from these sites and repackaging it into all kinds of tools that used by employers for background checks or even collection agency’s trying to hunt down debtors.

This is not the first or the last we will hear of such cases. I expect the watershed case to hit the court system within the 2-3 years that will blow the lid off of one of this country’s most widely known secrets.

It’s time for data privacy laws to be updated to fit the 21st century landscape.


August 23rd, 2010
11:33 am

The days of political correctness need to die. What someone does on their own time, is their own business, and should remain that way, period.


August 23rd, 2010
12:06 pm

While I agree that any hateful comments about students, parents or the community should not be posted on Facebook, other personal things that are not illegal should not be used against a teacher. Teacher’s are college-educated adults and have adult lifestyles. I recently read of a teacher from the North that had pics posted of her at a party without her knowledge. Nothing illegal in them, just her with a group of women at a party with a male stripper (he wasn’t naked). The school fired her and she got her job back after suing….this is what SHOULD happen if a school chooses to dismiss a teacher in this situation. Personal, legal activites by an adult (teacher or not) should not be used against them.


August 23rd, 2010
12:44 pm

School systems can be sued for violating First Amendment rights. Please read them and then you will know what I am talking about. Teachers have a right to post what they will!! As long it’s not direct threat to what or whom they teach.

Burned a Bridge

August 23rd, 2010
12:48 pm

How about students getting chastised for posting comments about their teachers? I made the mistake of befriending one of my grad school professors on facebook (we’re the same age and became friends – or so I thought). Then one day I wasn’t even thinking and posted “I hate this stupid assignment” out of frustration for a particularly difficult project and another student chimed in on it and it was an assignment that said professor had written. Needless to say I burned a bridge there because the professor didn’t take the comments so lightly. I don’t blame her but I certainly wasn’t meaning to call her stupid. She told all of her colleagues about what had happened and all of a sudden the professors weren’t so kind to me anymore – especially the professor handling my thesis!! Although in the end I think he realized what a hardworking student I was and created his own opinion of me.. a good one. I think teachers and students alike need to be careful what they say on facebook or other social networking site because it could come back to haunt you. Best to abide by the rule “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”

Private School Guy

August 23rd, 2010
12:54 pm

I think there is a difference between posting something personal and something inappropriate relating to your work activities. But criticizing public policies on the part of of a local school system or or a state in which you are a tax payer and voter is another thing teachers should be concerned citizen not worker drones. But making posts (textual or visually) of legal activities such as smoking, drinking or wearing a bathing suit should not be forbidden. Our president has been photographed doing all these things. I would much rather my students see me sipping wine in a good restaurant than stuffing my mouth with unhealthy food in a burger joint.


August 23rd, 2010
12:56 pm

I am a teacher in a small town. I have a Facebook account but I do not have any students as friends. I have explained my reasons to my students. I do not post any thing offensive, nor have I ever had a picture taken of me doing something offensive. However, other acquaintances have posted things that show up that I consider offensive. Generally, I delete those people as friends. I understood when I became a teacher that I was being held to a higher standard than others. If you don’t want to set and example for kids, don’t become a teacher.


August 23rd, 2010
1:08 pm

My son lost his job as a firefighter (he had never been written up for any reason and had high commendations on his work) because a youtube video was posted by someone of he and another firefighter wrestling in their exercise room at work. That is what firefighters do with their downtime….clean up trucks and exercise. He is now blackballed and cannot get a job in that field for anything. It’s ridiculous what’s going on with our loss of the “freedom of speech” in this country. Everything has to be politically correct. I am even nervous posting this on here…..


August 23rd, 2010
1:10 pm

This is out of hand! Teachers are people/humans and are not perfect. They fall victim to the same natural urges the rest of us have, to express themselves. And though I agree in cases that are of a teachers breaking a law then by all means punish away but for a teacher to lose their jobs/careers over such petty stuff (drinking and being caught acting like an idiot which is not illegal last time I checked) is stupid. WHO HASN’T? Really! Who hasn’t wanted to vent about the “Germ Bag” kid screaming in the store (”Germ Bag” is nice,I call them little S****), who hasn’t had a few beers and posed like an idiot for some pictures? Let he without sin cast the first stone! Cut these people some slack! I can think of a million ways our tax dollars can be better used rather then ruining teachers lives over such stupid things. Can we get back to the cause, the kids education. As a parent I don’t give a lick what my son’s teacher does after hours as long as they are professionals while at school and around my child and can do their jobs well. Okay, I feel better. Thanks for letting me vent. Have a great day!

Noah Little

August 23rd, 2010
1:13 pm

@Lynn — It’s a bit of a leap between “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” and the notion that there must be no consequences to what we say or write. Of COURSE exercising your freedom of speech has consequences. That’s why it’s called freedom of speech, and not freedom from consequences.


August 23rd, 2010
1:14 pm

doesn’t anybody remember the French Revolution? Welcome, Citizen and Citizenesse


August 23rd, 2010
1:18 pm

I agree whole heartedly with samlee. As teachers, we ARE to be held to a higher standard. We CANNOT think that we have the right to be offensive, derogatory, or even just a bunch of complainers. I have to wonder about this generation of teachers- is it true what they say about people deciding to teach simply to have summers off? What has happened to common sense, or common decency? Please use your brains, people!!! You are giving our collective profession a really horrible image!


August 23rd, 2010
1:21 pm

Okay, I’ll say it: I LOATHE Facebook. Never had a page, never will. No matter how many privacy protections you put in place, a motivated parent or student or even colleague will get in and use your information against you.

Like it or not, teachers are public figures. We live our lives in the public eye, and we must act accordingly. We are role models whether we want to be or not, and we must consider that when we say or do things that others will know about. Witness the fallout from Obama’s comments re: the mosque. What he said was true. But he’s still dealing with the political fire because of who he is. The same is true for anything we may post online. And yes, that’s why I use a pen name on this blog.

Like it or not, Facebook should not be a place for teachers. Even if a teacher dismissed for Facebook sues and wins, his or her career is over. Winning the battle but losing the war is not worth it.

[...] School Administrator Fired After Criticizing Parents on Facebook [...]

Future Teacher

August 23rd, 2010
1:41 pm

As a future teacher, I’ve already taken down any post or comment off my page that anyone, colleagues or students or admins, might use against me. (Note: I work with kids now and have neither kids or parents as friends, either current or past). In fact, I’m thinking of just removing the whole thing. Unfortunately, Katie is right; any motivated student, parent of colleague will find a way to get “dirt” on a teacher whether it’s material that is okay or not. It’s not right, but it’s fact today.

However, concerning the teachers posting awful comments about their jobs or students, if they feel the need to publicly post their anger or frustration, by all, they need to be fired. They are obviously in the wrong line of work.

Future Teacher

August 23rd, 2010
1:43 pm

“nor” not “or”


August 23rd, 2010
1:44 pm

You mean to tell me that just because a teacher said she didn’t want to kill even one student, which was obviously in jest, their career can be on on the line? Really?! So when I say I could’ve killed my kids for doing something really stupid DFACS will come in and take them away? This is becoming ridiculous. This is why I rarely post anything on Facebook and am very careful when I do. Teachers are held to higher standards than just about any profession, but respected the least of all.

I Support Education

August 23rd, 2010
1:44 pm

@Private School Guy: President Obama has been photographed drinking? Alcohol? Oh my! That’s not what I voted for! Another reason to run him out of town!

Oh, wrong blog! LOL. I have personally boycotted Facebook for a few reasons… 1) to avoid being friend requested by folks I haven’t seen or talked to in almost 25 years 2) to avoid to have to explain posted comments to those friends (some comments are not meant to be commented on) 3) To avoid being tagged in photos from 20 years that have been digitized and posted (I WAS a party animal) 4) TOO KEEP SOME OF MY LIFE PRIVATE AND TO MYSELF.

I have been watching security alerts and such regarding Facebook. It seems that by avoiding FB, I have avoided scammers who steal my personal information and hack my email account, and fake dislike buttons, and oh yeah, all of a sudden my private page is so public because FB admins changed a setting.

When they get their act together, maybe I’ll join. To tell the truth, FB reminds me of AOL in the early years of the internet. Everything accessible through one portal. Y’all are going backwards FRIENDS!


August 23rd, 2010
1:46 pm

“Educators” posting derogatory things on a public system like facebook, that can end their careers? no wonder the schools are so messed up with these morons in the classroom.


August 23rd, 2010
1:47 pm

Here the problem with using Facebook. Most people don’t know how to setup to use Facebook for friends only. Here an example if your friends with say Bill while Bill friends can see your page since you don’t have it setup right. Many users do not know this.

I Support Education

August 23rd, 2010
1:50 pm

psst… if you want to vent, get a new free email address, open a twitter account (that DOESN’T include your real name) and post there. If you must post rants about students and parents, post there. BUT be careful about mentioning the name of your school or district or using any Proper Names…. Teachers, You CAN vent online and anonymously, you just have to be shrewd about it.


August 23rd, 2010
2:03 pm

1. Fair or not, teachers have always been held to a higher standard of behavior than the general public.

2. Posts on Facebook WILL be perused and, in many cases, shared even when they aren’t “meant” to be shared. Facebook is a PUBLIC MEDIUM. It’s not a diary; it’s not a private phone line. It’s not even a multi-owner (”party”) line. It’s PUBLIC. Expectations of “privacy,” especially from a company whose founder has had to be forced to allow people to increase their level of privacy, are not reasonable. If you don’t want everyone to know what you’ve said, don’t say it on Facebook.

3. Teachers like to say that they are “professionals.” Other professionals, including accountants, doctors, therapists, lawyers, and ministers, have a legal obligation NOT TO TALK about their clients. It follows that teachers, if they want to be considered professionals, should not talk about their “clients,” i.e., their students and the students’ parents. Teachers who share publicly the sort of comments the teachers in this story shared on Facebook are lucky that they are not facing legal action for breach of fiduciary duty.



August 23rd, 2010
2:06 pm

Some of this is very sobering. My high-schooler, an unusually aware young lady, is always fretting over how friends post pictures from social events and “tag” everyone. Although she’s a good kid and doesn’t attend the wrong kind of parties, she still worries about being caught in some goofy photo that she wasn’t even aware was taken, and a potential employer will be looking at it 10 years from now. It’s a real concern. Removing one’s FB account isn’t the solution, either. That doesn’t stop people from typing your name when they’re tagging. Furthermore, my teen is actually not all that fond of social media (unlike most of her contemporaries) and would be quite happy to get rid of her FB account, but – ridiculous as it may seem – it’s essential for school projects. Whenever high school students are assigned a group project these days, they all assume they’ll collaborate via Facebook messaging. It’s just not practical to say “sorry, I don’t use FB” to classmates, I’m told.

interested observer

August 23rd, 2010
2:18 pm

Anyone who uses Facebook should understand that whatever is posted can easily be made public. If you don’t want someone to see something, don’t post it.

To many people use social networking sites to vent, oblivious to the fact that everything they say, every picture they post, has the potential to be seen by anyone. A lot of them will pay dearly for that oversight, but teachers who get caught with inappropriate postings have no one to blame for themselves. The same is true for any other group of professionals.

Just because you can post something doesn’t mean you should.

I Support Education

August 23rd, 2010
2:20 pm

@AJinCobb: I agree that using FB to collaborate on school group projects is ridiculous. If the school systems (esp Cobb) wanted students to do this, they should offer their own secure version of FB or online collaboration tool. (I wonder how much “collaborating” realy done via FB messaging. It’s a parental hoax I tell you — kids pulling wool over parent’s eyes.)

seen it all

August 23rd, 2010
2:26 pm

First of all,

Teachers are not public figures. They are private citizens who have the same rights to privacy and decency as any other person. What makes them different is that SOME people seek to find ways to criticize and destroy them.



Learned your lesson? Any questions?

Besides who needs myspace anyway? I already have a space and I don’t want you to see my face.


August 23rd, 2010
2:29 pm

I can not believe what I am reading on here today. There are no such state or federal laws passed that says a teacher has to check their free speech rights when they are outside of the classroom. BTW: for you teachers on here wanting to restrict the rights of teachers, do you know why teachers were originally given tenure? Yes, to protect their free speech rights within the classroom. Should we do away with tenure now? I am starting to feel bad for my children on where this country is going when even teachers want to take away their own rights:-(

Hey Teacher

August 23rd, 2010
2:40 pm

Before the internet, teachers were told not to be seen drinking alcohol in public, especially in small towns like Winder. In my case, my first principal gathered all of the first year teachers and told us not to attend the faculty happy hours (of course we ignored that, but checked first to make sure there weren’t any parents in the bar LOL). When my mother taught school in the 1960’s, she had to quit teaching when her pregnancy began to show. Teachers have always been held to a higher standard, the difference today is how fast information moves through social networks like Facebook. Scary.


August 23rd, 2010
2:50 pm

So I taught school 3 years ago. At the time I didn’t have a facebook page. Since leaving teaching, I have started one and have been friended by old teacher friends.
I have been floored by how many teachers are a) friends with students b) post personal religious beliefs and c) who have made comments about the district/school.
Certainly everyone has the right to their opinions, but those opinions in many cases don’t need to be expressed to students and parents.