In another case of teachers not knowing how to lock down their Facebook profiles, a Florida instructor may soon be without a teaching license after news of insults hurled at one of her students on the social networking site came to light.
According to Bay News 9, the Manatee County, Fl, Elementary School teacher posted this comment on her Facebook wall:
“I’m fairly convinced that one of my students may be the evolutionary link between orangutans and humans.”
Interestingly, the comment received seven “likes” along with this response from another teacher at the school:
“Please tell me who you are talking about. This made me laugh out loud.”
The teacher, again having no regard for her position or the way in which social media can burn your career faster than a California wildfire, proceeded to write the students initials, W.W., adding “Does that help?”
Thankfully the school registrar had sense enough to jump in on the convo, writing “What in the hell is that supposed to mean?” and the discussion stopped.
The name nor nationality of the teacher has been released, neither has that of the child but since the NAACP is involved I’m going to go out on a limb and say the 8-year-old student she was referring to, who was identified by those initials she posted, is black. And she’s not. Lisa Wade, the mother of the student, told Bay News:
“I send my child to school trusting them to teach him. Not to talk about him. I’m disgusted with how they talked about my child. It hurts.”
Manatee County school district spokeswoman Margi Nanney told Wade and the news station that all teachers involved in the Facebook thread were verbally disciplined and ensured that the district doesn’t condone behavior like that, saying instructors are urged to use “common sense” on Social Media sites. If she had common sense, she likely would have never posted what she did. The principal at the G.D. Rogers Elementary School in Bradenton has referred the matter to the state Department of Education’s Office of Professional Practices though, which will investigate the case, and they do have the power to revoke the instructor’s teaching license.
A representative from the NAACP says the teachers need more than a strict talking to and that the school needs to develop a Social Media policy that will prevent this from happening again. The district representative believes the code of ethics for Florida teachers which basically says “you never want to say anything that’s going to harm, or have a negative impact, on the people that you’re working with — and the students are our most important customers, believes that’s enough. And of course, she doesn’t believe the comment was at all racially motivated, saying:
“I think she just made a poor judgment call in her choice of words.”
Right. I wonder when was the last time she heard a white person referred to as a monkey? Not relying on the school to keep its word, the boy’s mother has retained an attorney and says she wants to make sure at least one person is held accountable in this situation.
How do you think he teacher who made the comment and those involved should be handled?
Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for madamenoire.com. Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.
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