Ohio Teacher Might be Fired for Duct-taping her Students and Posting it to her Facebook Account
The Akron Public Schools Board of Education voted last week to pursue the termination of Melissa Cairns. Cairns took a picture of her students who had duct-taped their mouths and posted it on Facebook. She captioned the photo with the tagline: “Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!” She has been on unpaid leave since October 19th.
Cairns initially had given a student a piece of duct tape to tape her broken binder. The student instead put it on her lips and started to giggle. Her classmates thought it was funny and they one by one did the same. One of her students urged her to take a photo.
School officials are investigating if the children’s privacy was infringed by her sharing the photo on her Facebook account. The teacher maintains it was all a joke and she doesn’t think she should be fired. She doesn’t think this stupid mistake should cost her the last 10 years she’s given to teaching.
She in fact thinks this was a “breakthrough moment” for the classroom. It provided an opportunity for her to connect with her students in something they found funny.
I think the board has every right to pursue termination. This veteran teacher should know better. She should be more mature. There are two problems with what she allowed to happen and what she subsequently did with the photo.
- Allowing her students to pass around the duct tape and tape themselves wasn’t very appropriate. She should have stopped them.
- Posting the photo on Facebook is an infringement of the student’s privacy. She did not get parental consent.
No matter the outcome the school board should hasten a decision. Three months and no ruling is a pretty long time.
This story reminds me of a recent post of a father who got probation after posting a photo of his daughter bound in duct tape on his Facebook account. He maintained it was a joke.
As I have argued in the past, be careful what you post on social media.
Do not post anything you wouldn’t let your grandma or boss see.
Nothing is private on social media.
What do you think?
Should she be fired?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate