Forced to Resign Due to Social Media

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Sarahkjt09, Dec 22, 2016.

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  1. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    I'll be the first to say it. What I did was so unbelievably stupid! With my FB feed having been loaded with political arguments on a daily basis for what seemed like an eternity, I finally had had it. The day after the election, I went ahead and posted my take on things. I am in the NE so most people I work with are bleeding heart liberals. Some were actually in tears the day after the election. The few Trump suporters had to be very careful when talking politics at school. Anyway, I had become so frustrated by the constant Trump bashing on FB and beyond that after a long day, I let loose on FB. I posted a pretty inflammatory statement where I ripped on the social justice warriors. Referenced the absurdity of their talking points (trans bathrooms, sanctuary cities, illegals on food stamps). At the end of the day, I pretty much just summed up my opinion about Trump's win - people fed up with the PC bull and the lousy economy. Included a few curses. About 45 minutes after I put it up, I decided it was a pretty stupid thing to do, so I removed it. My FB is private, but I was connected to some of my colleagues. Well, someone must have screen shot my post because next day, I am put on paid leave due to breaking social media policy. Fast forward one month: Union lawyer and Board lawyer negotiate a deal and I resign. Technically, they let me go out on disabiliy and I'll officially resign in February when disability ends. I was told I'll receive a neutral recommendation and Im free to ask others for recommendations. My district is not allowed to talk about the FB incident. They will only say I went on disability and subsequently resigned. This was all spelled out in the separation agreement we each signed. They are not going to fight unemployment after my disability is over, either. I have always received excellent reviews and I am very well liked by students/parents and administration. Have done a lot of extra curricular activities. I guess things could be worse. After all, I could have been terminatef. I do want to remain in education. HOWEVER, I am concerned prospective employers will question why I resigned from a tenure track position in February. I was planning on saying a family crisis made me go out on disability (I am technically on disability), but before it could be resolved, my disability ran out. Does anyone have any other ideas? I have 3 children, so the family crisis story might work. Please don't beat me up for my stupid lapse in judgment. It was very much out of character and truly a momentary hissyfit, for which I've paid dearly. And, yes, all social media is disabled, never to be turned back on again. Please help me to explain my leaving a tenure track position. Again, I do not think I need to worry about a paper trail or my situation being revealed per the tightly wrapped separation agreement. I have copies of all of my "highly effective" evaluations. No LOR in hand just yet, but I will be asking. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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  3. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    You will be fine. They already informed you that you will receive recommendation upon your resignation, what else is there to ponder upon? Though, in a time like this where it's so tough to find good teachers in the neediest of schools it seems such a silly reason to lay a teacher off for a liitle Facebook rant.
     
  4. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    All I can say is thank your lucky stars you were able to get on disability so easily... my wife had to jump through many hoops (and is still jumping through those hoops three years later)... I am astounded that you would be able to claim disability after using extremely poor judgement.
     
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  5. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    My therapist provided me with a diagnosis of anxiety/depression. It is short-term disability, not permanent SSI disability. Im surprised your wife had such trouble with disability.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  6. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2016

     
  7. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    Dont have the LOR yet. I will be toast if they dont send, right? I have to ride out this school year. But because I like to work and want to teach, I started applying. Had two interviews and they were a little curious as to why I was applying during my tenure year. They were for .5 positions so I indicated my desire to work part time was due to my family circumstances. Principal offered me a job, but super shut me out. I so regret my idiotic behavior.
     
  8. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    Im concerned it looks suspicious. I have really good evals, but I let down a lot of people. Really disrupted instruction for the kids. I dont know why they came after me so hard. Im a really good teacher and the parents love me. Maybe they wanted to make an example out of me? I never really was able to connect with my principal. She gave me great evals the few times she observed me, but I always found her very hot and cold, very bipolar.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  9. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    Would you be interested in working in a private school? They'd be less likely to question you as much about this, and you also would be able to list just your principal, vice principal, or anyone who has observed your teaching at the school as references. You could leave your superintendent off of your resume. You could also consider applying to a charter school too.
    :)
     
  10. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    No, not really interested in charter. I would love to teach in a Catholic school, that way my kids could attend. Theres so few of them left though. I believe itll work out. I worked my butt off for three years. Even though it ended badly, I cant believe my supervisor or principal would be awful enough to deny me a letter. I did earn all those highly effectives through hard work. I shot my mouth off. I didnt abuse or neglect my students.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Dec 23, 2016

    so sorry this happened - I'm glad you've learned the lesson that political rants are only allowed in one direction in education. You might have to find a job in a different district, but I'm sure you'll be able to teach again.
     
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  12. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Dec 23, 2016

    I only have family on my Facebook. (1 or 2 I wish I had not let in, I blocked their posts)

    I recently had someone from the school system want to be a friend.
    (This person is also from the church I go too)

    I am not letting that person in my Facebook.

    There is nothing in my Facebook that is bad - I don't do alcohol or even smoke.

    But, I am concerned if politics might be a concern.

    Glad, I saw this post.
     
  13. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    First, I just want to play the Devil's advocate and say:
    Go ahead and hate on those liberals, but being in a Blue State is nice to have the Union protections, isn't it? You think this will be the future of America? Try moving to AZ where you are basically an at- will employee ALL the time and can get fired for any reason. You have no real union or tenure protections. I just want you to think about that. The "bleeding heart liberals" can annoy you, but the protections are nice. Try moving to a Red State, it might be more your political speed. A lot of people who voted for Trump think teachers / public schools are the enemy "brainwashing" their kids so they'll end up trying to dismantle the school system anyway. Think about that.

    That said:
    You can tell them whatever you want. If you tell them you left for your health or family, go ahead. If there's no paper trail and you'll get recommendations, you should be fine. Another perk of Union/ tenure protections you don't get everywhere.


    And I consider myself an Independent these days.
    ;):peacesign:
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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  14. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Dec 23, 2016

    First of all I am so sorry this has happened to you! I got called into the office for liking a comment on facebook during school hours. I am sure I would have gotten disciplined if it were time stamped but they could not prove it wasn't during my lunch. I thought I was going to melt. Like Big Brother was watching. And it was pretty stupid on my part but really? So I am very sorry that this has happened to you. I honestly do not feel you will be questioned at future employments. I don't think they can question. Just be prepared not to lie but to state that you were on short term disability and you were not cleared to return (truth) and you thought it was in the best interest of your students to resign rather than have them without a teacher.(sorta true). You made a mistake but this will not live with you forever. I promise. Hang in there. Enjoy the time off and believe that you were wronged and this will help you find a job in the future! Hugs!
     
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  15. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    It just further proves the fact that we teachers are ALWAYS under the microscope.
     
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  16. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Dec 23, 2016

    How could they see you like something or not ?

    Like you said likes are not time stamped.

    It must be someone from the school on your friends list.

    If you Un- Friend everyone from school would they fire you ? Could they ?
     
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  17. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'm amazed you have social media clauses. Ridiculous.
     
  18. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    The sound of this much scrutiny and social media clauses makes me very uncomfortable. I totally get the policy not to have any students on friend's list. That is a solid one. But as far as what you post, as long as you're not doing something illegal, or against common decency, they shouldn't have a say so in what you do in your private life. Now, if your posts are visible to everyone, and the school received complaints from parents, worrying about the role models in their child's classroom (because they saw something horrible), then yes, that makes sense. But posts about politics, or liking something? You should be able to say what you want on your fb page about politics, and if you have a duty free lunch, you should be able to look on fb.

    I have a lot of teacher friends as FB friends, even people from the district office. I have everything private, because I don't want my students to even find me (they actually did, not sure how, I use a fake last name, even a different city). but everything is private, so they can only see my profile picture and y cover pic, which is my parents.
     
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  19. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    I was not connected to any parents. It had to be a colleague, which is so below the belt. Even though it is an upper class district, there are lots of unhappy and very insecure teachers there. I would never do such a thing, and right before Christmas too. I know these sorts of thing always come back around, so whoever did it will definitely get hers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
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  20. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    That is very low of him or her to do such a thing, and it does seem like they were trying to get you removed from the school because of their insecurities and because you were there so long. But, you will have a better year and with all of your experience you will have little problems in finding a new position elsewhere. As you seek a new position though you may wish to consider substitute teaching. At least it'll bring in a paycheck. You were provided with good feedback in this thread too from everyone.
    :)
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Maybe your coworkers were concerned that you would be unable to provide a fair and equitable education to your trans students, your students without papers, your liberal students, and your students to whom social justice matters are important. Perhaps it isn't that your coworker will get hers but that you have gotten yours.
     
  22. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    I think you should go public with this, and who knows, you may get a job working for the new administration. Yes, there a limits to freedom of speech but you were entitled to say what you said.
     
  23. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Don't add your coworkers, students, parents, or bosses to your social media pages. Problem solved. My FB is locked down, because I make plenty of political posts on my FB (in the opposite direction of yours) and I'm smart enough to realize that expressing strong opinions in either direction doesn't help you in any job. Be smart next time.
     
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  24. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    I have always watched what I said at work and get to work(At any job) 30 minutes to a hour early. (Usually 30 minutes)

    I like to think of it this way. When they (The Boss/ Boss's family, Co-Workers) try to get you. If they don't have any ammunition, then they can't get you.

    Because, they will use anything they can find , that is negative. Because they are just mad or generally in a bad mood.

    Having your Boss / Co-Workers etc on your Facebook/Online media is a bad idea, because they can point at anything as a excuse.

    What ! So and so liked that post that the world is flat ! So and so must be a Flat Earth'er ! (They can't read your mind to know you liked it because it was funny)

    That would be the ammunition so they can fire you.
     
  25. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    :celebrate:
     
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  26. Teachertimes

    Teachertimes Rookie

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    Sorry I'm having a hard time feeling sorry for you. You knowingly violated the social media policy by saying things that could hurt someone. What if a coworker is trans or has a child or family member that is. I wouldn't want someone with no tolerance teaching my child either. I don't care how high your ratings are.
     
  27. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    That's not fair. That's paranoia. If the OP had been fair before, why would things change?

    You're promoting teachers spying on teachers.
     
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  28. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    As a teacher, would you fairly teach a child from a conservative or differently religious family? Be honest.

    Why are you justified in presuming someone with different views can't teach fairly?
     
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  29. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    I would never (and never have) brought my political leanings into the classroom. Students would even ask who I was voting for and I never revealed. I have always been very professional in the classroom, never once in my three years of teaching getting in trouble for saying anything inappropriate, unlike some of my colleagues.
     
  30. Teachertimes

    Teachertimes Rookie

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    I don't doubt she can teach fairly but making statements that might be hurtful to someone about who they are shows little tolerance. She used phrases like social justice warriors, bleeding heart liberals, and other phrases that others might find offensive. To be fair I would 100% feel the same way about someone making statements that attack conservatives or people with other views. This isn't about me being offended that she doesn't like liberals this is about someone making offensive statements on a social media platform showing poor judgement and low tolerance for others. I read plenty of things on social media that upset me, I put on my big girl panties and ignored them. I didn't feel the need to be a bigger jerk and be unprofessional. I signed a social media policy, while I am down with freedom of speech I also recognize I signed something stating I would not do that on social media. It has nothing to do with spying, you signed a policy, you didn't use good judgement, you were forced to face the repercussions. (Not you literally)
     
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  31. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    Cannot go public as I signed a separation agreement that says I will not retaliate, etc. I will be tempted to email my parents about why their kids lost their favorite teacher if they won't give me LOT. In the end, I won't do that. I play by the rules.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
  32. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    I dont think anyone in my district knew about the policy. We never were asked to sign anything. To be honest, I've seen colleagues of mine post way worse things than I did. Whatever, it is what it is. Ill get a better position elsewhere. The kids really lost in this situation.
     
  33. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    I taught 11 year olds, as far as I know, none were transitioning at this age.
     
  34. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    If you didn't sign anything, what are the grounds for the issue?
     
  35. Teachertimes

    Teachertimes Rookie

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    I don't understand what the grounds were either, if you didn't sign anything.
     
  36. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    I guess it is a policy they just have.
     
  37. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    But shouldn't it be in writing?
     
  38. Teachertimes

    Teachertimes Rookie

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    Do you have a union?
     
  39. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    It must be in writing somewhere.
     
  40. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    Yes. But as a non-tenured teacher, I was toast. Last year a tenured teacher was caught on camera violently throwing chairs down the hallway to intimidate kids that were working on a project in the hallway. He was tenured, so nothing happened.
     
  41. Sarahkjt09

    Sarahkjt09 Rookie

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    Wow, you sound like a very tolerant person. So if someone says something you may disagree with, you believe it is ok to destroy their career? And yes I firmly believe if you hurt another, it comes back to you. And let's not forget, my dumb post was up for 45 minutes, max. Someone targeted me big time. I believe jealousy and insecurity were the reasons.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
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