Teacher suspended for calling students future criminals on Facebook

Teacher suspended for calling students future criminals on Facebook

Summary: A first grade teacher was suspended for posting on Facebook that she felt like a warden overseeing future criminals.

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TOPICS: Legal
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A first grade teacher at School 21 in Paterson, New Jersey was put on suspension, with pay, for a post she made on Facebook. A "significant" number of parents arrived at the school and demanded their children be pulled from her class after they saw the message on the social network. Her status update reportedly said that she felt like a "warden" overseeing "future criminals," according to a district official.

"The reason why she was suspended was because the incident created serious problems at the school that impeded the functioning of the building," board president Theodore Best told North Jersey. "You can't simply fire someone for what they have on a Facebook page; but if that spills over and affects the classroom then you can take action."

The teacher, whose name was not released, has refused to make any public statements, but her lawyer did speak on her behalf, saying that any comments that the teacher had made on Facebook were done on her own time and to her friends. "My feeling is that if you're concerned about children, you're concerned about what goes on in the classroom, not about policing your employee's private comments to others," Nancy Oxfeld said in a statement.

"It's a personnel matter and we've taken action," a spokesperson for the Paterson district said in a statement. "There is an investigation underway."

The Paterson school district, which has high crime rates in certain areas, comprises of 28,000 students and 2,425 teachers. It was taken over by the state of New Jersey in 1991 due to fiscal mismanagement and poor academic performance.

Last week, a Chicago computer teacher posted photos of a student on her Facebook page, leading to the child being mocked for her hairdo on picture day. The parent's lawyer is preparing a lawsuit against Chicago Public Schools.

Topic: Legal

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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10 comments
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  • RE: Teacher suspended for calling students future criminals on Facebook

    That's one teacher per under 12 students! Quite a ratio.
    Bill4
    • RE: Teacher suspended for calling students future criminals on Facebook

      There are things that people in responsibility can and can't do (the clue is in the language - "responsibility", and teaching more than qualifies). Making provocative statements <a href="http://www.realessaywriting.com/format/">essay format</a> in a public forum (in this case Facebook) that hinder the smooth running of the school seems a pretty clear breach
      adamjones342
  • She is most likely correct

    considering that many parents feel education is secondary, "American Idol" is the best path to a career.<br><br>Why study to be an engineer, doctor, or business owner when your culture glorifies "fame and fortune" and the trapping that go with it, as the measure of success, "Jersey Shore" as the future to be sought after?
    Tim Cook
    • RE: Teacher suspended for calling students future criminals on Facebook

      @Mister Spock <br>I do not know how i feel about this. There are good teachers (that actually care), and then there are teachers that should have been fired years ago. I wonder what this teachers past record looks like?
      Rick_K
      • RE: Teacher suspended for calling students future criminals on Facebook

        @Rick_K
        I totally agree with you. And that too she is teaching first grade and children can be easily molded into good civilians by a teacher at that age, I know they also need strong cooperation from parents and society. In this age like you mentioned it is very rare to find such calibered teacher. And being lived in NJ for good number of years, I first hand know North Jersey issues.
        Ram U
  • Sounds like Gregory House's sister.

    ;)

    We were called worse back in my day and the parents sided with the teachers. When will people realize that Facebook is a public diary.
    osreinstall
  • Stupid

    This teacher is stupid. Postings on Facebook are basically public, it's like writing on a restroom wall. She has acted in an utterly unprofessional manor. You cannot defame someone and then try and hide behind first amendment rights.

    She may feel the students are unruly (she probably has a point) but there are ways to express this, and forums to do it. Facebook isn't either.

    There are things that people in responsibility can and can't do (the clue is in the language - "responsibility", and teaching more than qualifies). Making provocative statements in a public forum (in this case Facebook) that hinder the smooth running of the school seems a pretty clear breach.
    jeremychappell
  • RE: Teacher suspended for calling students future criminals on Facebook

    blogs.bet.com
    xushaojun
  • RE: Teacher suspended for calling students future criminals on Facebook

    The teacher is correct, PC garbage aside. Most schools are holding tanks for black students until they go to prison, get killed on the street or have 7 illegitimate sprogs by as many bucks. If you want to see what it's REALLY like to teach black students, follow this link:

    "What it's Like to Teach Black Students?"
    June 16, 2009

    http://martynemko.blogspot.com/2009/06/white-teacher-speaks-out-what-is-it.html
    walt235
  • RE: Teacher suspended for calling students future criminals on Facebook

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