I want to say when will they learn, as in when will teachers learn not to make inappropriate comments about their students on Facebook. But the problem with Rainshaven Elementary School teacher Tameka Gatewood goes far beyond where she said disparaging remarks about her Kindergarten pupils.
The Memphis, TN, educator has been suspended without pay after school officials caught whiff of some disturbing things she was writing on her Facebook wall. According to Local 5 news WMCTV:
In reference to two students insulting each other, Gatewood posted the following to her Facebook page:
“How bout I blasted both of them. The girl in my class hair is nappy almost every day and the boy wears dirty clothes, face nasty and can’t even read. They didn’t bother nobody else when I got through with them.”…
Another post reads, “If another parent tell me it’s my job to teach their children, it’s gonna be po po time…
In another post, she offers an alternative to turning the other cheek.
“What do you think you’re supposed to do? Bang! Bang! Shoot ’em up dammit! Just kidding!! For real tho – slap their a** back then Bang! Bang! Shoot ’em up dammit,” Gatewood posted on Facebook.
Though the school is saying this issue is indicative of the larger problem of not having clearly outlined Social Media policies, it’s evident Gatewood has an issue with being inappropriate period.
A review of her personnel file shows she was reprimanded multiple times for insubordination early in her career with MCS.
In a 2002 letter to personnel, the principal at Sharpe Elementary School, where Gatewood worked at the time, pleaded with the district to remove Gatewood from her clerical job.
The letter said, “How many times does a person have to be insubordinate before action is taken?”
Six years later, Gatewood became an MCS teacher.
City Schools Commissioner Kenneth Whalum addressed Gatewood’s suspect past, saying, “I know it’s a sign of much more serious problems that we seem to be loathe to address.” MCS School Board Commissioner Tomeka Hart expressed those same sentiments, downplaying the Social Media policy aspect.
“I agree we don’t have a specific social media policy, but we do have ethics. We do have professionalism. We expect our teachers to act as adults whether they’re in social media or otherwise.”
Right now parents at Rainshaven are asking adminstrators to act on those ethics and remove Gatewood from her position. That could very well happen depending on the outcome of her upcoming tenure hearing.
Do you think Tameka Gatewood should be fired?