I’m sure you’ve had many career advisers tell you time and time again to watch the pictures you post on Facebook. Why? Because employers often use Facebook to check up on you in the hiring process. We all know ratchetness on Facebook could possibly keep you from getting a job, but it sucks to know that the opinions you share–and display on the site–could possibly cost you your job as well.
A teacher in New Jersey named Viki Knox is in the center of the debate on free speech on through social media, as many are calling for her job after she posted anti-gay comments on her Facebook page. Knox has been put on paid administrative leave while the matter is investigated (and has been since the beginning of the month), but during a school board meeting yesterday, protesters were in full force for both sides of the matter. On one side, individuals were holding up posters that said, “No Hate in Our State,” while on the other side, a large group of people standing by the teacher held up smaller signs that said, “Don’t Bully Viki.” Many argue that a woman who teaches around young people of all different backgrounds and orientations, and is open about her disapproval of the gay lifestyle, shouldn’t get to keep working in the school. However, others are saying that firing a person because of what they believe in based on their religious teachings would be a violation of their free speech and religious freedoms.
I know what you’re thinking: if she was just speaking her mind on her Facebook page on her own time, what’s the issue? Well, according to the Los Angeles Times, Knox, 49, was commenting on the school’s recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender History Month. The special education teacher wrote that being of the LGBT community was a “sin” a sin that in her mind, “breeds like cancer.” She made it clear that celebrating the month in the school is like parading “unnatural, immoral behavior before the rest of us.”
Many gay advocates say that her opinions could cause her to not keep an eye out for those bullying students of the LGBT community, and that she may not fully enforce new anti-bullying legislation passed in New Jersey last spring. Not really sure how I feel about this one, because I think it’s sad that people’s religious opinions, which are expressed outside of school halls, can still get them axed. However, some people commenting on this story did bring up a really good point: remember the story we posted about the white supremacist principal in the Bronx who was fired after it came out that he wrote a string of books about minority inferiority? Well…this is somewhat similar. Not fully though, because racism isn’t something commonly taught (at least not out in the open), while Knox’s beliefs are a common view held by some Christians due to their personal interpretations of the Bible. But still, her known beliefs could possibly play a part in how she treats her students, or even worse, how they feel about being around her. As if there wasn’t enough as an adolescent teen to be uncomfortable about in school…But what do you think?
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