Teacher mocks student's hairdo on Facebook

Teacher mocks student's hairdo on Facebook

Summary: Students frequently mock their teachers on Facebook, but sometimes it's the teacher that steps out of line.

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A Chicago computer teacher at Overton Elementary School showed poor judgment posting photos of student Ukailya Loftonon on her Facebook page, leading to the child being mocked for her hairdo on picture day. Lucinda Williams says her daughter saw a picture of a model wearing Jolly Ranchers at the end of her braids (the candies were attached with elastic bands) in a hair salon magazine and begged her mother to give her the hairstyle. Williams, a hairdresser, agreed but said she'd do it on picture day: March 24, 2011.

Most of Loftonon's teachers complimented her hair at school, so when one of them asked to put her hair over her face and then used her cell phone camera to take pictures from the side and the back, she didn't think much of it. "She took a picture of me and then she said my boyfriend can't believe this," Loftonon told ABC7. "My mama told me she put it on Facebook and then I felt sad."

That night, another parent whose child is the teacher's friend on Facebook let Williams know that the teacher posted the photo and allegedly wrote "right, this is for picture day." The comments on the photo included "if you are going to make your child look ridiculous, the least you can do is have them matching," "yeah, this is foolishness," and "I laughed so hard that my contact popped out." The other parent saved both the photos and the comments onto a CD.

Williams notified the school principal the next day. The teacher apologized and said she took down the photos, but Williams says it's not enough. Her lawyer is preparing a lawsuit against Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

"The principal said this was a good teacher but this was a case of poor judgment," a CPS spokesperson said in a statement. "The district is currently investigating the matter to determine if any policies have been violated. If policies have in fact been violated, the district will move on disciplinary action."

"She never apologized to my daughter," Williams said. "She is still in the school. She wasn't suspended. I mean, it's like nothing happened. She just apologized and that's it. That's not enough."

Earlier this month I wrote an article titled Students suspended, expelled over Facebook posts. It was a slightly different situation, but it's still interesting to read a similar story where the victim and perpetrator have been reversed.

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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9 comments
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  • RE: Teacher mocks student's hairdo on Facebook

    The mother has the right to be angry, but suing the school district? The school district has nothing to do with it. All those frivolous lawsuits are causing taxpayers big bucks. If we can use those lawsuits money, we can avoid teachers layoff. The mom should sue the teacher. It is between the teacher and the mother.
    viny@...
    • Why should she sue the teacher?

      @viny@... The teacher has a right to her opinion and even if it is in bad taste, has the right to say what ever she wants.<br> <br>Instead of calling lawyers, how about the MOM getting some basic parenting classes? After all, she is the one who gave her daughter a RIDICULOUS hairdo and set her up for the mocking.
      wackoae
      • But the teacher should be fined like $500 thousand and forever banned from

        @wackoae: ... working as teacher.

        As this incident showed, the very same teacher might further find "funny" many other things, what is unacceptable.
        DDERSSS
  • And so, life is weird

    The poor b*ggers called teachers get hammered yet the rest of the world doesn't care, and worse, the world actually encourages and protects what passes for the "yoof" of today to do stuff like this teacher did and worse.
    ego.sum.stig
  • Teachers stupid move-

    Teachers can do stupid things, and this one did a doozy. An apology should be given by the teacher, the child comforted, and life goes on. We have bigger and more important things in life. Take th elittle things and get on with life. Computer geeks ar enot known to be socially sensetive, so it could be a growing time for the teacher as well.
    jfox@...
  • Ridiculing a Student is Worse than &quot;Poor Judgment&quot;

    Teachers, of all people, should know better than to publicly ridicule a student / child. It's hurtful and sends the message it is OK to do this. Yes, the teacher has a right to free speech, but there are limits to everything. The school should take action. There should be a temporary suspension for the teacher along with a personal apology to the child. Should not be tolerated.
    jpr75_z
  • I think the only thing the teacher really did wrong...

    was post a picture of the child on FB without the consent of the parent?

    The teacher wasn't the one making the mocking comments... her friends were. the teacher's comment of "right, this is the picture of the day" could be implied/inferred several ways.
    UrNotPayingAttention
    • RE: Teacher mocks student's hairdo on Facebook

      @UrNotPayingAttention
      If you think "right, this is for picture day" (get the quote right) can be interpreted another way then you are as dumb as this teacher. Anyway most others are right, suing the district or even the teacher, come on get over yourself already mom, you don't give a damn about the comment to the kid by raising a lawsuit you are just trying to make a buck. If you wanted justice for you daughter you would ensure she got sincere a face to face apology and some kind of suspension without pay disciplinary action, she should feel the repercussions of her actions, but you shouldn't profit by them. And by the way mom, why did you even tell your daughter about the picture being posted, it was the teacher and her adult friends that were looking at it and commenting. Your daughter never even needed to know!
      jefferyshall
    • Quit Cherry Picking

      The rest of the comments were hurtful. They cannot be read two ways. And the one you quoted is difficult to read any two ways either.
      PreachJohn