Facebook question

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by PepperPotts, Nov 22, 2013.

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  1. PepperPotts

    PepperPotts Rookie

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    Nov 22, 2013

    Yesterday I posted to vent about a situation at my school where they somehow got on my Facebook and pulled stuff to use against me, even though the situation at hand immediately had nothing to do with Facebook.

    I was asked to remove postings on it, but I deleted my whole account instead. But now I'm wondering if they're even allowed to ask me to delete, because:

    1) I never used student, teacher, or admin names

    2) I don't see what's wrong with saying something like "The worst child in my class was absent today, yay for an easy day!" or asking for advice from teacher friends (not necessarily teacher friends in my district or at my school--and if I did ask for help it was again without mentioning names ("I have a student who..." or "How can I motivate my class because they are doing X, Y, and Z when I'm trying to teach and admin is no help").

    3) My situation at work was so horrible--like absolutely no admin support. I had posted something like "Wrote up a kid this morning. Now he's back in my class disrupting again this afternoon when he should've been sent to ISS." etc. but again NO NAMES.

    4) Anything I did say was in this super ridiculous filter with only like the best of the best people (closest people I am friends with in real life) and only those people could view anything I said, it wasn't all blasted to like 500+ friends.

    I just don't understand this and I'm wondering if I have a free speech case here. And sub point: does this mean they are going to bug my house to make sure I don't talk to my spouse? Have paparazzi follow me to make sure I don't drink beer at restaurants or wear a bikini on vacation (things teachers have been fired for just because they are a teacher and it is "inappropriate")? I am just reeling over all this! :dizzy:
     
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  3. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    If only your closest friends could see it, how would admin have gotten hold of it? Did one of them talk to your bosses about your inappropriate posts?
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Teachers have been fired for similar comments on social networks....EVEN with privacy features enabled. And courts have upheld the schools' decisions in most cases.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Unless I'd say it to everyone in the general public, it doesn't go on Facebook, even though I keep my settings pretty tight.

    Live & learn.
     
  6. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Nov 22, 2013

    I don't ever talk about work on my facebook, particularly in a negative way. Some teachers link to their school district for the "Work" section of their profile, but I don't do that, either.

    Facebook is never private.

    Also, an anonymous forum would be a better place to vent and ask for advice. But I never ask for advice on this site because it's so popular and I'm sure co-workers are on it and could recognize my situation.

    As for the school asking you to delete comments, I can see it because if a student or parent were to read your posts somehow, they would probably recognize which child you were speaking of. Yes, your posts could be violating confidentiality laws.

    You've mentioned previously being willing to give them your Facebook password. Many states have made it illegal for current or prospective employers to request that. I would never hand that over.
     
  7. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    This is my question.

    Somebody who saw your posts released the information to your current administration. I can't see any other explanation.
     
  8. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I think several of your post are inappropriate.
     
  9. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Honestly? You can't see what is wrong with that? You are in a public service position complaining about your clients. That type of post makes all of us look bad. Imagine a police officer posting "Didn't have to protect any X today on my beat, yay for an easy day!"

    Why would you ever post these kinds of musings to Facebook anyway?
     
  10. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Wow...your posts are completely unacceptable.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I'm with the group that doesn't post anything about work. Absolutely nothing. If I wouldn't say it to my boss, it doesn't get posted on Facebook.

    It would be easy for someone on your Facebook that could see those posts to figure out who the child(ren) were based on what was said.
     
  12. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I only post positive things about work, except one time that I posted that not having a planning every other day was exhausting, so I was going to bed at 5:00. I only post positive things about students.
     
  13. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Nov 22, 2013

    Not sure what to say about this. I do not see anything wrong with it, but I also do not do it myself. I rarely write posts about school, and when I do it is probably something funny that happened that day.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    When I post about work on FB, I keep it incredibly positive and positive ONLY. My Twitter account has a little more snark to it, but it's locked down (although one of my school's deputy superintendents follows me with my permission). Someone can ALWAYS find a way to read your stuff.
     
  15. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I find those comments totally inappropriate. Don't say anything negative about work. Period.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that most of the example posts you've shared here are not appropriate.

    I occasionally post about school, but they are almost always totally positive: amusing anecdotes, pictures of gifts and notes given to me by students, pictures of positive notes written by subs, etc. If ever I am negative about school, it's stuff like, "Man, today was a rough day! Glad to be home!"--stuff that's so generic you wouldn't even be sure that it's about school.

    I don't think it's ever a good idea to identify anyone in your class as being "the worst student" or to call out admin for being no support at all. This is a terrible, terrible practice.

    I agree with others that if your FB is locked down, then one of your "friends" shared your posts with admin. Your circle of friends isn't as tight as you think it is.

    I don't know whether admin has the legal right to ask you to delete the posts. I think it's probably a good idea that you did end up deleting your whole account. It seems like it was full of stuff that you should never have posted. I understand why admin was upset with you over those posts. In the future, don't post stuff like that. Keep your work life and your private, FB life completely, 100% separate. I hope this was a lesson learned.
     
  17. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    What was your goal in those postings? Advice? Commiserating? Venting?

    All of those things could have happened here, a lot more privately, and would have improved your professional image.

    My mama always said, if you don't want it out there, don't write it down.
     
  18. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    I'm another one who doesn't post anything about work. I might put up a "Yippee for a snow day!" kind of post, but it never specifies what I do. I honestly don't see a lot of other friends post about their work either, whether they are teachers or not. The only ones who really post about work are those who are promoting their company.

    Sometimes I will see a post put up by someone who is not a friend if a friend has commented on it. Maybe this happened to you, and one of the people who saw it was friends with a friend of yours who commented on it. You never know...
     
  19. ATwainedTeacher

    ATwainedTeacher Rookie

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    I'm very careful about all of this, even with my Facebook being so locked down that only friends can even search me. I only say positive things, or maybe a funny anecdote, or something a little self-deprecating. Like, the other day, I posted: "You know you're doing well as a grammar teacher when students underline 'pizza' and 'Ashley' as gerunds.Going back to the drawing board is Mrs.__________'s agenda for the night." Maybe I shouldn't have because it mentioned the students. I was obviously saying that it wasn't their fault that they didn't understand the material, so I don't feel it was negative about the students. The same as sharing a funny story, only about myself.

    Now I'm feeling paranoid, though. :eek:hmy:

    ETA: In response to how your school system responded, I have to say that I am not surprised. Our superintendent made a big announcement at the beginning of the year about stuff like this.
     
  20. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    We have a morality clause in our district. One part of it says that we are to post absolutely no posts about the school or district.

    Your actions are why this policy was instituted.

    Based on your actions, I'm not so sure you are anonymous to those of us on the forum.
     
  21. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Hmm. Though I personally wouldn't post comments mentioning the "worst kid is class," I feel it's unfair for people to say you should not be allowed to post such things or face consequences for posting such things. I think because of the nature of the job and the personality type that tends to be common in the profession, many teachers are too willing to sacrifice their rights and to excuse infringements on those right by others. Yes, we want what's best for the kids, but we are people too...
     
  22. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Any employer can fire an employee for what's on their FB page, and many do. That's not unique to education.
     
  23. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I agree that your posts were inappropriate. I also do not post anything negative about work. I may post things like "Pajama day, yay!" or "TGIF!" but that's the closest to work talk that I get.
     
  24. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    I wasn't saying that the practice was unique to education. My point was that the acceptance of the practice was unique to education.
     
  25. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I would not post anything about school. I look on Facebook, but rarely post anything because I've heard way too many stories about teachers getting fired and in trouble.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 23, 2013

    Why on earth would anyone post anything negative about any job on a public forum?

    Time and time again we've seen just how "unprivate" those privacy settings are. We warn our kids, over and over and over and over again NOT to post anything online that they wouldn't want sent to their grandmother, their worst enemy and THEIR BOSS.

    If you want to complain about your job, call a friend, go out for a drink or a cup of coffee, and vent away. Do NOT do so on the internet. There is no such thing as a privacy setting; it's only as private as every single person who has access to it chooses to make it.

    Apparently one or more of those very close real life friends chose to include your boss in your vent. So, in addition to rethinking what you post online, you might choose to rethink some of those friendships.
     
  27. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I think it is interesting that schools teach about internet safety and proper internet etiquette at all levels of school. So, why is it adults think it is ok for them to do themselves.
     
  28. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I think a good rule of thumb would be to just not post about work.
     
  29. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I think your posts were inappropriate. I very rarely post about work on FB but if I do it's positive. My general rule about pretty much anything I post on FB, work related or personal, is "would I stand up and say this in a room full of parents, coworkers, my principal, and my superintendent?" If the answer is No, then I don't post it. I think I posted about my class once last year, and it was to brag about the amazing compliments we got when we took a field trip to the art museum. I think I also shared when they were feet enough to throw me a party for my birthday that they organized all by themselves.

    I don't even post anything like "Long week at work this week, so happy it's Friday." because I just don't see the point of putting that out there. And again, using my rule of standing up in a room full of my parents, well, I obviously wouldn't say that.

    Sorry, but I just can't side with you on this one.
     
  30. PepperPotts

    PepperPotts Rookie

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    Hey, just an FYI: A silver lining of all this was that I *did* get to candidly discuss some school issues with a person outside of my direct administration, but within our school system, because of all this. It actually may bring about some positive changes with the admins that are there now that people above them know some things that have been going on, and how admins have NOT been doing their job the absolute best that they could have been. I have been given credit for doing the best I could in a bad situation.

    I would have gladly said any of that out loud to a boss/coworkers because it was the truth! So, my posts did pass the "boss test" in that respect, when I was thinking about whether or not they should be posted.

    As a whole, our entire staff has been miserable this year. I am just hoping some good comes out of it for everyone else. It looks like the issues I had problems with are going to be handled, and people are realizing my frustration came from other people failing to meet their responsibilities. I will gladly take a write up if it means other people will have to fall in line.
     
  31. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    You posted mean things about kids ("the worst child..."). That's not professional, and there's really no justification for that.
     
  32. PepperPotts

    PepperPotts Rookie

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    I still say there's no problem with it because I didn't mention names and I wasn't specific enough that a single student could be identified. :shrug:
     
  33. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I disagree with you.
     
  34. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I don't think your posts were professional. I post about school, but only positives. If I need to vent, I call my mom or my best friend.
     
  35. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    I hope you've been guaranteed that the most you'll suffer is a write-up. In my district, I could/would be fired for that... even with a union and contract.
     
  36. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    comba She (he?) is already leaving their job and the educator sector in general because of no support. This just happened to come as they were preparing to leave.
     
  37. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Send private messages to your teaching friends asking for advice. One day posted, "Whew...hard day. Y'all have NO IDEA how hard teachers work" and I had a colleague post "I don't know about you, but I am thankful for my job." Welcome to the world of facebook where everything you say can and will be used against you to make you look bad. Other teachers commented at school (not on facebook) about how inappropriate her comment was. I did delete it, because I never posted ANYTHING saying I hated my job or wasn't thankful for it. She is now on restricted access. It looks like we are still friends if she checks, but she can only see things I post publicly. :p
     
  38. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Pepper, here's the big problem with your post.

    The fact that you claim to have a "worst child in your class" and rejoice in that student being absent is unprofessional whether it was on Facebook, in a forum, or posted on the staff room bulletin board.
     
  39. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This.
     
  40. PepperPotts

    PepperPotts Rookie

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    I have already resigned (before this even happened) so...they probably figured there was no point in firing me.

    I did not resign "in lieu of termination." I resigned because I found another job and couldn't wait to get out of a toxic environment...
     
  41. PepperPotts

    PepperPotts Rookie

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    All right, well let me clarify.

    This is a student who is a complete terror. Like to the point that I can't even start and finish a full sentence when he is present. He does whatever he wants with absolutely no regard for adults, authority, whatever. I have sent down write up after write up, with no consequences for him this school year except once. He doesn't care about my consequences, and of course his home life is awful so there's no help from that end either. He gets entire classes riled up and turned against me and other teachers, yet admins do nothing about it, even when me and others turn in piles and piles of documentation.

    So, yes, I am happily leaving. I simply cannot tolerate it anymore.

    And yes, I'm going to say so if I'm happy that kid isn't there. Because it means for just one day, I'm able to do my job in peace. And the other kids don't have their learning disrupted.

    e: I mean, I've told coworkers AT WORK that I'm THRILLED he is absent, and they high five me because they know what a tool he is! Come on, now. :rolleyes:
     
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