Teacher Canned for Using "B-Word" on Facebook

ashley-payneA high school English teacher who used the “b-word” on her private Facebook page is out of a job thanks to an anonymous letter sent to school administration.

To top it off – she posted a picture of herself from a European vacation holding a glass of wine. Oh, the horrors.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution blog,  Ashley Payne left a status that said “”Ashley Payne is at Bitch Bingo with her bitches.” (Crazy Bitch Bingo is an actual event held in Atlanta.)

The AJC got hold of an e-mail sent anonymously (via an e-mail address that does not exist) to the district – supposedly from a parent – complaining that one of Payne’s students read the status and then proceeded to refer to her friends as “bitches.”

Enter shock and awe.

Except Payne keeps her Facebook locked up. It’s private – so it can’t be seen by random web browsers – and she does not accept friend requests from students. There’s no way a child could have read it, she says.

But she did have other teachers on her friend list – and the AJC deconstructed the letter from the anonymous tipper, coming up with “evidence” that it was written by another teacher. We take some issue with the argument here at Strollerderby:

“First, very few people outside of teachers have the punctuation skills of this writer. Note the punctuation inside a quote.”

Actually, any parent who paid attention in high school English would. Not to mention writers, editors, proofreaders . . . But we digress. Because the AJC also points out the e-mail referred to the kid who supposedly picked up bad habits from Payne’s Facebook page as a “pupil.” Few people outside of school settings use that term – so score one for the AJC. Not to mention a major score for Payne.

The major fault here seems to be that Payne resigned when the school pressured her. She says she was forced to. But it sounds like she had a major case to hold her ground and thumb her nose at the establishment’s attempts to sneak into her private life.

She’s a grown woman well above the legal age who was pictured with a glass of wine. Not only is it not illegal but a glass of wine is hardly a beer helmet with tubes threading instant alcohol into her trashed face.

As for the word bitch – she neither referred to a student as a bitch nor did she put it out there for the world to see. And at the end of the day, what high school kid hasn’t heard the word? Or used it?

It’s clear teachers shouldn’t be friending their kids on Facebook unless they plan to sanitize their pages, but does a school district have domain over a private page with no child-teacher interaction?

Image: AJC

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