If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)   Teacher fired over mystery facebook or twitter comment. It wasn't sexual or vulgar, but the superintendent won't tell him what the comment was. Just that a female student's parent complained. And like that, poof, he was gone   (triblive.com) divider line 118
    More: Asinine, teacher fired  
•       •       •

12687 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Mar 2013 at 8:05 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



118 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-03-12 12:42:56 AM  
This is bizarre.  Hopefully the guy is able to find a full time position somewhere so that he can get union protection, this is exactly the kind of management abuse of power that unions are meant to prevent.

However, he should have known better than to communicate with students in any way via social media.  If you're a teacher, or work with kids in any way, just don't friend/tweet/communicate with them in any way on social media sites. You would probably be better off just not having any social networking accounts, and hold back on texting, e-mailing, or calling students either - if you need to communicate with a student do it through the parents, that's just the world we live in today.
 
2013-03-12 12:58:46 AM  
Pennsylvania isn't a right to work state. Shouldn't he be able to pursue some kind of wrongful termination case?
 
2013-03-12 07:31:15 AM  
Has this entire country forgotten the old saying "you can't please everyone"? Anything anyone says or does is bound to upset someone. But that single someone should not override the everyone else, and destroy someones career over some ambiguous butthurt.
 
2013-03-12 07:46:22 AM  
manilovefilms.com /obvious
 
2013-03-12 08:06:32 AM  
"Maybe you should wear a bra in class.  It's distracting."
 
2013-03-12 08:08:35 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: However, he should have known better than to communicate with students in any way via social media


Yea, that

He probably did absolutely nothing wrong, but he never should have communicated with his students like that
 
2013-03-12 08:09:31 AM  

vudutek: Has this entire country forgotten the old saying "you can't please everyone"? Anything anyone says or does is bound to upset someone. But that single someone should not override the everyone else, and destroy someones career over some ambiguous butthurt.


In capitalist America, kids flunk teachers.
 
2013-03-12 08:10:05 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: This is bizarre.  Hopefully the guy is able to find a full time position somewhere so that he can get union protection, this is exactly the kind of management abuse of power that unions are meant to prevent.

However, he should have known better than to communicate with students in any way via social media.  If you're a teacher, or work with kids in any way, just don't friend/tweet/communicate with them in any way on social media sites. You would probably be better off just not having any social networking accounts, and hold back on texting, e-mailing, or calling students either - if you need to communicate with a student do it through the parents, that's just the world we live in today.


Tat'dGreaser: Yea, that

He probably did absolutely nothing wrong, but he never should have communicated with his students like that



Well, to be fair, the 'bad' post might not, you know, *actually exist*.
 
2013-03-12 08:11:32 AM  

vudutek: Has this entire country forgotten the old saying "you can't please everyone"? Anything anyone says or does is bound to upset someone. But that single someone should not override the everyone else, and destroy someones career over some ambiguous butthurt.


It's always crazy people in charge.
 
2013-03-12 08:12:29 AM  
He probably used a double entendre or posted one of those racy laughing out loud cat photographs that's so popular with the kids these days.
 
2013-03-12 08:13:19 AM  
Maybe he just linked to an article from a site called "TribLive".
 
2013-03-12 08:14:09 AM  
Unless its a professional networking site like Linkedin, work and social networking should be kept separate.   This is about 500 times more important when your work involves children.
 
2013-03-12 08:14:28 AM  
I've had supervisors tell me before that people who won't be identified have made unspecified complaints about actions or comments I made which I would not be informed of but I better make sure I fix the problem.

I've never been fired that way, though.

/ didn't do anything different
// got praised a few months later for the alleged turn-around
 
2013-03-12 08:15:03 AM  

Felgraf: Well, to be fair, the 'bad' post might not, you know, *actually exist*.


Sure, that's a possibility but by his own admission he communicated with students via social networking. He never should have done that, only communicate with them through official channels or you run this kind of risk.
 
2013-03-12 08:15:50 AM  
That's how bureaucracy works most efficiently.  That's the price of living in a free, modern society.  If you don't like it, go to Somalia.  Or something.
 
2013-03-12 08:16:52 AM  
I'm guessing it was either religuous (most likely) or political (slightly less likely).  I can't think of what else would set a parent off that is not sexual or vulgar...unless as mentioned it was just ANY contact was worthy of complaint.

If I were a parent and a teacher started getting preachy over the internet with one of my kids I might take issue with it...
 
2013-03-12 08:17:37 AM  
That's a lawsuit in the making if I ever heard one. This is so ridiculous I hope he threatened them with litigation as they were firing him.
 
2013-03-12 08:18:32 AM  
I say turn this over to Anon and let them find out all the dirt on the superintendent.
 
2013-03-12 08:18:54 AM  
We are dealing with the actions of school officials here. Not exactly known for being the sharpest tools in the shed.

And with put these mental midgets in charge of educating our children. We are farked well and truly.
 
2013-03-12 08:21:18 AM  

You Are All Sheep: I say turn this over to Anon

4chan and let them find out all the dirt on the superintendent.

FTFY
 
2013-03-12 08:22:24 AM  

skozlaw: I've had supervisors tell me before that people who won't be identified have made unspecified complaints about actions or comments I made which I would not be informed of but I better make sure I fix the problem.

I've never been fired that way, though.

/ didn't do anything different
// got praised a few months later for the alleged turn-around


I've gone through that exact scenario. I figured if they weren't adult enough to talk to me directly it must not be that bad. When I heard tell of my remarkable turnaround a few weeks later I had completely forgotten about the "offense". To this day I have no idea what I did wrong or how I stopped doing it. It's almost as if was completely made up...
 
2013-03-12 08:22:27 AM  

Philbb: Pennsylvania isn't a right to work state. Shouldn't he be able to pursue some kind of wrongful termination case?


You'd think so, but by a show of hands, how many people think a substitute teacher can afford to hire an attorney?

Let's see...that's....zero hands raised.

I always hear this as an argument against teachers unions.  "If you're fired for political reasons, or because you're making more money than the college-grad newbie, then sue the district for wrongful termination!  You don't need a union!"

People tend to forget that:

1. Most attorneys don't take pro-bono termination suits because they're extremely hard to win
2. Most teachers (let alone subs) can't afford to hire an attorney out of pocket

So, cases like this are why teachers unions will remain strong.  We know what's at stake.

/BTW, Philbb...I didn't mean to jump down your throat...I'm just a bit vocal when it comes to education issues
 
2013-03-12 08:22:36 AM  
you can't get fired for social media posts if you don't have an account.
 
2013-03-12 08:23:31 AM  
As a substitute teacher was he actually "employed"?  Was he fired or did the admin just say he wasn't going to call him for any more work.

I thought Subs were teachers available on a "if we need you, we'll call you" basis but not guaranteed any employment.
 
2013-03-12 08:24:22 AM  
Once again, in a case like this, we only get one side of the story.  I'd bet the teacher is leaving out some relevant details.  At worst, I'd bet the school was looking for reasons to get rid of people to save money, or the teacher was already on probation for past problems and this was the last straw, etc.
 
2013-03-12 08:24:58 AM  
The teacher is an idiot for communicating with students via Facebook.

Having said that this reeks - hoping the community can bring enough pressure to get this overturned.  Unfortunately the ultimate result will never change - he has ZERO chance of being hired on as a full time teacher until that superintendent no longer works there.

We don't need unions though - I mean this could have never happened to a full time teacher... right?
 
2013-03-12 08:27:07 AM  

Philbb: Pennsylvania isn't a right to work state. Shouldn't he be able to pursue some kind of wrongful termination case?


"Right to Work" is anti-union law and has absolutely nothing to do with employment protections.
 
2013-03-12 08:28:51 AM  
Back in '77, the Guidance Counselor in my high school told the rich biatch "that we all can't go to Vassar". His was fired at the next school board meeting. Oddly both parents of the rich biatch were on the school board. Sad fact: he was actually a very good guidance counselor.

FWIH, Rich biatch went on to attend Southern Illinois University Carbondale (a well known party school) where she discovered her dyke propensities (NTTATWWT) and came back to the very same town to run it as poorly as her parents.

Every time I see a tornado on the weather channel heading down route 40 towards the town, I root for the tornado.
 
2013-03-12 08:29:12 AM  
from TFA: Francis acknowledged he communicates with students on social media sites, but he said he never made any inappropriate remarks.

Well there's your problem! I hate to say it, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was simply the fact he does that upset the parent. I don't understand why a teacher would do this

.Given today's climate, if I were a teacher, I'd make sure communication with students and parents was in e-mail, CCing my boss on sensitive ones. I wouldn't friend any student on Facebook.

Aside from a few folks who I "grandfathered" when it was new, I don't friend coworkers on Facebook who I don't have a relationship with outside of work. My twitter is open, but it doesn't use my name, and I don't mention my company in it. I don't think there is much I would be embarrassed about, but it's one thing I don't have to worry about.
 
2013-03-12 08:29:15 AM  

tom baker's scarf: skozlaw: I've had supervisors tell me before that people who won't be identified have made unspecified complaints about actions or comments I made which I would not be informed of but I better make sure I fix the problem.

I've never been fired that way, though.

/ didn't do anything different
// got praised a few months later for the alleged turn-around

I've gone through that exact scenario. I figured if they weren't adult enough to talk to me directly it must not be that bad. When I heard tell of my remarkable turnaround a few weeks later I had completely forgotten about the "offense". To this day I have no idea what I did wrong or how I stopped doing it. It's almost as if was completely made up...


No one can be stupid enough to think that behavior makes sense, so you have to think it is some sort of MBA morale building idea from some hyped book somewhere, that if you generically complain about nothing specific to a staff member, and then praise them for fixing it a short while later it improves productivity or morale or something.
 
2013-03-12 08:29:37 AM  

OhioKnight: As a substitute teacher was he actually "employed"?  Was he fired or did the admin just say he wasn't going to call him for any more work.

I thought Subs were teachers available on a "if we need you, we'll call you" basis but not guaranteed any employment.


I think you are kind of "contractor" status - in a "bigger picture" kind of way I'm wondering if he would be legally obligated to check "YES" on the "Have you ever been fired from a teaching job" type question on an application.  I know I personally would have zero problems checking "NO" given the bullshiat circumstances of this situation but that's the kind of thing that can come back to bite you in the ass  years down the road.
 
2013-03-12 08:35:38 AM  

Fizpez: The teacher is an idiot for communicating with students via Facebook.


Indeed.  I've made it very clear to the students that have asked me that I don't communicate on facebook with students unless they have graduated or no longer attend the school (example: one that moved from California to Kansas)  They understand completely, and I avoid any shiatstorms.
 
2013-03-12 08:36:02 AM  

SubBass49: Philbb: Pennsylvania isn't a right to work state. Shouldn't he be able to pursue some kind of wrongful termination case?

You'd think so, but by a show of hands, how many people think a substitute teacher can afford to hire an attorney?

Let's see...that's....zero hands raised.

I always hear this as an argument against teachers unions.  "If you're fired for political reasons, or because you're making more money than the college-grad newbie, then sue the district for wrongful termination!  You don't need a union!"

People tend to forget that:

1. Most attorneys don't take pro-bono termination suits because they're extremely hard to win
2. Most teachers (let alone subs) can't afford to hire an attorney out of pocket

So, cases like this are why teachers unions will remain strong.  We know what's at stake.


/BTW, Philbb...I didn't mean to jump down your throat...I'm just a bit vocal when it comes to education issues


In most cases, I would agree with you.  But because this story has now gotten national attention and will likely be picked up by MSNBC, CNN, FOX, etc. the ball will now sit squarely in the school board's court to respond.  Aside from a strong team of lawyers, it seems the only way to get justice now a days is through national public shaming...

I suspect he will get his job back or a surrounding county will beg and plea for him to come and teach for them.
 
2013-03-12 08:39:15 AM  

Harry Freakstorm: Back in '77, the Guidance Counselor in my high school told the rich biatch "that we all can't go to Vassar". His was fired at the next school board meeting. Oddly both parents of the rich biatch were on the school board. Sad fact: he was actually a very good guidance counselor.

FWIH, Rich biatch went on to attend Southern Illinois University Carbondale (a well known party school) where she discovered her dyke propensities (NTTATWWT) and came back to the very same town to run it as poorly as her parents.

Every time I see a tornado on the weather channel heading down route 40 towards the town, I root for the tornado.



  Can't remember who said this but "if you want to know what god thinks about money just look at the people he gives it to".  Carlin maybe?
 
2013-03-12 08:44:10 AM  
Link farked for anyone else?
 
2013-03-12 08:47:17 AM  

Fizpez: The teacher is an idiot for communicating with students via Facebook.


I do not see how.  Facebook backs their shiat up so if there was ever a police investigation or lawsuit, a simple subpoena could pull up old/deleted posts.

Honestly, I do not see how it is any different than emailing.

What about his form of communication do you find to be stupid?
 
2013-03-12 08:47:59 AM  
 There is a special kind of hell called south western Pennsylvania.
The people there are rather weird, and talk funny and have a propensity to do very silly things for very silly reasons. Usually, they may be found bitterly clutching bible and guns
 
2013-03-12 08:48:11 AM  
yep, link farked.
 
2013-03-12 08:48:47 AM  

SilentStrider: Link farked for anyone else?


Just in case it is:


Forgive Alan Francis for feeling as though his life resembles a Franz Kafka novel.

Until recently, Francis was a Steel Valley School District substitute teacher. He worked at the high school for seven years, filling in almost daily for teachers in almost every subject. He was popular among students and said he never did anything to warrant disciplinary action.

Then for reasons that remain oddly opaque, he lost his job.

Francis said the district fired him two weeks ago without a substantive explanation. He said Superintendent Edward Wehrer told him that a parent complained about an online comment he made to a female student.

Who was the student or parent? Wehrer wouldn't say.

What was the remark? Wehrer wouldn't divulge it, "although he told me it wasn't anything sexual or explicit or vulgar," Francis said.

On what social media site did he comment? Wehrer again offered no details, but presumably it was Facebook or Twitter. Most high school students don't have career-oriented LinkedIn pages.

About the only specific Wehrer provided was one that appears to have driven a stake through Francis' career. The superintendent said his decision was final.

"I've wanted to be a teacher forever," said Francis, 31, of West Mifflin. "So yes, what's happened is pretty devastating."

Reached Thursday, Wehrer said he can't discuss personnel matters.

The situation is reminiscent of Kafka's 1925 novel, "The Trial," in which protagonist Josef K. is arrested and prosecuted without learning the crime he is accused of committing. Francis can't confront his accuser; he doesn't even know the person's identity.

Francis acknowledged he communicates with students on social media sites, but he said he never made any inappropriate remarks. If Wehrer had evidence otherwise, the superintendent likely would have alerted police.

If Francis were a full-time teacher, the Steel Valley teachers union probably would rally around him. He isn't a union member because he worked part-time. So he is relying on supporters who started an online petition demanding his reinstatement.

"The decision of the superintendent to (fire) Alan Francis was a huge mistake," states the petition, started by Steel Valley junior Brendan Grueser. "Steel Valley (has lost) a truly exceptional staff member."

As of Thursday, the petition drew more than 400 electronic signatures and supportive comments.

Of this situation's many unanswered questions, the central one is this: Precisely how heinous was the transgression that prompted Francis' termination?

Absent the answer, parents and students should continue to pursue the reason a popular teacher lost his job. So should the teacher.

Said Francis: "I want to know why."
 
2013-03-12 08:49:28 AM  

SilentStrider: Link farked for anyone else?


Farked.
 
2013-03-12 08:49:31 AM  
I've had my run in's with students driving a school bus in NH. And most of mu run was an area with "poor little rich kids."

I had one kid (8th grader, hockey player, thought he was hot stuff) who after writing him up 15 times (not a typo) that i finally told him "where the dog" died, but without saying anything vulagar. It was along the line of "one day your reality check will get cashed."

The other one was on a private school run. I had this one girl on the bus (only student, special run across town) who I had noticed had been a touch moody the past few days. I asked here if everything was okay, and mentioned that if something was wrong, to see her guidance counsoler. She immedatly blurted out "what do you think? That I've been abused? My mom's a lawyer!"

Next day, I'm dragged into the office (with my union rep), and was told that she said that I was trying to get into her pants. At no time did my butt leave the seat of my hands leave the controls.

Thankfully, I left before the start to the next school year because I had a better job offer.
 
2013-03-12 08:51:08 AM  

tom baker's scarf: skozlaw: I've had supervisors tell me before that people who won't be identified have made unspecified complaints about actions or comments I made which I would not be informed of but I better make sure I fix the problem.

I've never been fired that way, though.

/ didn't do anything different
// got praised a few months later for the alleged turn-around

I've gone through that exact scenario. I figured if they weren't adult enough to talk to me directly it must not be that bad. When I heard tell of my remarkable turnaround a few weeks later I had completely forgotten about the "offense". To this day I have no idea what I did wrong or how I stopped doing it. It's almost as if was completely made up...


You are accused of a non-specified action from an unidentified party and are warned to cease the behavior?

Soooo, The only thing I can think of is that I do my job well.  Perhaps that challenges the other lunkheadded chair fodder and makes them uncomfortable.  I should do less work and screw up what I do?  Got it boss.
 
2013-03-12 08:54:22 AM  

rev. dave: you can't get fired for social media posts if you don't have an account.


What are you trying to hide?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-03-12 08:56:27 AM  
TFA: 504 Gateway Time-out
The server didn't respond in time.


Fire that server.
 
2013-03-12 09:06:07 AM  

Hopman: Next day, I'm dragged into the office (with my union rep), and was told that she said that I was trying to get into her pants. At no time did my butt leave the seat of my hands leave the controls.  Thankfully, I left before the start to the next school year because I had a better job offer.


Lest you think you escaped, these kids are growing up and will eventually inherit the reins of our economy.

So. . . uh. . . have a nice day.
 
2013-03-12 09:12:57 AM  

Hopman: I've had my run in's with students driving a school bus in NH. And most of mu run was an area with "poor little rich kids."

I had one kid (8th grader, hockey player, thought he was hot stuff) who after writing him up 15 times (not a typo) that i finally told him "where the dog" died, but without saying anything vulagar. It was along the line of "one day your reality check will get cashed."

The other one was on a private school run. I had this one girl on the bus (only student, special run across town) who I had noticed had been a touch moody the past few days. I asked here if everything was okay, and mentioned that if something was wrong, to see her guidance counsoler. She immedatly blurted out "what do you think? That I've been abused? My mom's a lawyer!"

Next day, I'm dragged into the office (with my union rep), and was told that she said that I was trying to get into her pants. At no time did my butt leave the seat of my hands leave the controls.

Thankfully, I left before the start to the next school year because I had a better job offer.


You let the student's drive the bus?  Man, I wish you were my bus driver...
 
2013-03-12 09:13:51 AM  
And I don't know why I put an apostraphe in students...grammar fail

/I'll survive somehow
 
2013-03-12 09:14:08 AM  

StoPPeRmobile: rev. dave: you can't get fired for social media posts if you don't have an account.

What are you trying to hide?


I've heard off hr people not offering jobs because the applicant didn't have a Facebook page. Apparently anyone without one must be hiding something.

/has a Facebook page
//90% private
 
2013-03-12 09:16:10 AM  

skozlaw: I've had supervisors tell me before that people who won't be identified have made unspecified complaints about actions or comments I made which I would not be informed of but I better make sure I fix the problem.

I've never been fired that way, though.

/ didn't do anything different
// got praised a few months later for the alleged turn-around


When I was in radio I had a program director tell me the same thing about a listener complaint. Same results.
 
2013-03-12 09:17:56 AM  

Felgraf: TuteTibiImperes: This is bizarre.  Hopefully the guy is able to find a full time position somewhere so that he can get union protection, this is exactly the kind of management abuse of power that unions are meant to prevent.

However, he should have known better than to communicate with students in any way via social media.  If you're a teacher, or work with kids in any way, just don't friend/tweet/communicate with them in any way on social media sites. You would probably be better off just not having any social networking accounts, and hold back on texting, e-mailing, or calling students either - if you need to communicate with a student do it through the parents, that's just the world we live in today.

Tat'dGreaser: Yea, that

He probably did absolutely nothing wrong, but he never should have communicated with his students like that


Well, to be fair, the 'bad' post might not, you know, *actually exist*.


Any number of twitter messages to a female student is too many and a red flag. Those stories always start with "teacher ABC befriended the student first, then they had sweaty monkey sex in the car in the parking lot at school".
 
Displayed 50 of 118 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report