Thursday, March 11, 2010

Teacher Suspended for Facebook Post

An East Stroudsbury University professor was suspended for a comment she put on Facebook. She claimed she was kidding when she said she had a bad day and wanted to kill some students. The school officials took her comments seriously, and suspended her when a student brought the matter to the attention of the administration. Some say the suspension was a violation of free speech while others claim all threats of this kind even if made in jest should be taken seriously. Read more about the case in Higher Ed Morning, Facebook: Teacher Suspended for Posts, and check some of the comments posted.

In another case, a middle school teacher was suspended for some comments she wrote about one of her students on Facebook. Read of that story, Apex Teacher Suspended. Stories of both students and teachers being suspended for Facebook comments are increasing.

How do you feel about the emerging cases of retribution when a member of a school, be it a student or teacher, faces suspension for postings put on Facebook or other social networking venues? Should comments posted on these sites be taken seriously? Need teachers exercise caution? What about comments students post on Facebook, or other public social networking sites, about teachers, school administrators, and other students? As a teacher, what would you do if a student brought to your attention a comment written about her or him by another student that could be interpreted to be mean spirited or threatening? What about the teacher from East Stroudsbury U.? Do you think she should have been suspended? What about the middle school teacher who called her student "Bible boy"?

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