Bad Teacher Or Bad Policy?

Submitted by: Gerry1of1 5 years ago in
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/nyregion/teachers-facebook-posts-against-homosexuality-are-questioned.html

New Jersey High School Teacher suspended for anti-gay ports on Facebook
There are 65 comments:
Male 661
"Yes, freedom of speech means that you have the right to express your opinions.
However, it doesn`t absolve you of the consequences." (Well said Skine)

I think this sums it up perfectly. As a role model, which teachers are, they are held to a higher standard due to the influence they can have on a developing mind.

It was discussed on Facebook without any privacy filters, so there can be no reasonable expectation of privacy and is not at all different from speaking those words in public. Any of her students had the potential to access her opinions and been affected by them. Thus her personal opinions entered the classroom.
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Male 409
To all who feel this teacher is justified, I recommend that you read the article, but replace every reference to gay or homosexual, with the word "Black" or "Asian", and then consider you answer.

The truth is that you can use the Bible as an excuse to hate anyone. Just because she claims a religious justification does not make it right, or even understandable.

She has a right to believe what she wants. However, that does not mean she has a right to be a teacher.
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Male 500
u mad bro?
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Male 4,902
"The sin is hated not the person(s)."

Can`t recall the last time I heard a "Christian" tell someone that their sin was going to burn in hell for eternity.
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Female 7,866
It is not hypocrasy to feel that a teacher should not express her private relgious views on a public forum. Lets look at a male teacher who states on facebook that women should be submissive and are here to serve men, he then says he will object to the fact that girls are on the university posters dotted around. If you are vile enough to believe there is anything nasty about gays, or women, then fine--- you are entitled to your belief. But in your position you should keep those views to yourself- if you cannot do that then you should choose another profession. BTW- comments like `hate the sin` ignorant........ gay is as much part of who someone is as their arm
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Male 4,395
"Sin is sin and comes in many forms. The sin is hated not the person(s)."

I was born gay. Calling something I had absolutely no choice in a sin and something you hate really pisses me off. I`m not sure who taught you to express bigotry in public but it is very un-Christ like.
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Male 527
I don`t know, but I see a LOT of irony and hypocrisy here. We are not tolerated if we are not tolerant. Others have the right to say what they want, but should someone voice an opinion against it, then they are a (insert name here)-phobe and should be fired from their position.

There was a time not very long ago that saying you were gay got you fired from your job and alienated from your friends and family. Now, saying you`re against homosexuality seems to net the same punishment. It is interesting to me how, now that the shoe is on the other foot, those previously discriminated against are only more than happy to hold the new witch hunts.
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Female 399
Seriously? Every time anyone doesn`t like ANYTHING, they compare it to Nazi Germany.
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Female 408
If people are allowed to have awareness days then people are also allowed to voice their opinion of it on a personal networking site. Sin is sin and comes in many forms. The sin is hated not the person(s).
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Male 719
"Christians are no longer allowed to hold governmental positions if they voice their beliefs."

Not true at all.

Most Christians ignore the vast majority of the rules listed in the Bible. Usually, they justify this by saying "but that was in the OLD testament."
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Male 1,293
"Bad Teacher Or Bad Policy?"

Errrrmmmmm does anyone seriously argue against it being "both"?
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Female 21
Lets be honest with each other about what this means. Christians are no longer allowed to hold governmental positions if they voice their beliefs.

Now I personally am anti-clerical and a proud atheist, but is this really the way America wants to go? Remember, one of the first things prohibited to Jews in Nazi Germany was the ability to teach...
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Male 985
As much as I hate her view, I do believe she is entitled to it.
But on another note
WE SHULD TOTALLEH PUNISH PEOPLE FOR BEING THEMSELVES! ITS A SIN HURR
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Female 7,866
honkeylips, most history is old white hetero guys, written by them and for them, so LBGTs and blacks and women etc are just trying to level things up a bit.
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Male 1,586
Why does everyone get their own history month? I want an old, white, hetero guy history month. I am asking for this because we`re the only people left on Earth that you can make fun of and not get in trouble. I think it`s because we just don`t give an eff.
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Female 7,866
she is entitled to her views- abhorent as they might be to any decent person - she is entitled to express those views as long as she does not incite violence against those she berates. However- for her to do this on a public Facebook page is not appropriate behaviour for a teacher. It is for her lack of judgement that she should lose her job- as a teacher she should excercise good judgement. I have to say I question the wisdom of employing someone with those beliefs in a school though- but, as long as she kept it quiet.
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Male 4,395
"I want a straight month"

What rights do straight people need to fight for? There are 7 countries in the world where a gay person can be put to death just for having sex. In America same-sex sexual activity was illegal nation wide until 2003. 2003! In the world every day gays are harassed, beaten or murdered just because of what they are. Again I ask what rights do straight people need to fight for?
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Male 101
jtrebowski,Yeah I would it`s her private life most teachers I know get drunk or do other inappropate stuff in their free time. As long as they don`t come to school strung out on drugs I don`t really care.
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Male 5,620
Gerry1of1: I salute you. I too believe in the freedom of speech in your private life. So long as she isn`t allowing bullying to go on, and doing her job; she can say whatever she likes, no matter how wrong I feel it is.
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Female 63
*anyone can hear it, and report it.
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Female 63
There is a difference between public face and private face. It doesn`t make it clear whether the posts were meant to be public, but the article does refer to it being take down from public view. That could mean that it was removed by facebook, or that it was set to a friends/friends of friends setting etc.

If you publically can get on with life as it is now, and as a teacher, don`t teach hate regarding anything that goes against the "bible" and current religous thinking, then you should be fine to teach students, whether or not you`re posting privately about these views.

This is where most people fall foul of social media. IF it`s public so that other teachers, pupils, or the general public can read it, you take the responsibility and the concequences too.

Learn to keep life outside your job properly private and you shouldn`t have problems. It`s the same as bitching about pupils in the staff room, cept now its on a recorded format, and anyone can he
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Male 3,364
For all of you defending her saying it`s her right to post this stuff w/o consequences, would you feel the same way if she posted a public pic of herself passed out on a bar, or smoking a joint? As a teacher, she should be held to a higher standard than "Joe the plumber" who doesn`t have daily contact with children.
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Male 525
@Gerry1of1: If it`s part of your terms of employment that you can`t post things like that on facebook, then the employer has every right to fire the employee.
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Male 231
I want a straight month
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Male 7,378
Time for her to go.
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Male 2,579
Gay people like being different most of the time.
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Female 92
@RobSwindol
I know damn people for wanting to know a little bit about their history the struggles people like them have been through and are still sometimes going through today! Just like women`s history month...Silly women trying to be equal. Sarcasm aside until I can go to Yemen with my girlfriend and not get killed or Egypt and not go to prison (You know like a heterosexual couple wont get killed/go to prison) and I can actually see the world without having to be terrified in certain places then yes I want a LGBT month. We`re being asked to be recognized not egged.
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Male 2,521
The fact is, a category (be it gay/lesbian or black) simply cannot demand to be treated with equality while simultaneously demanding to have their own "history month". By demanding such a month, they intentionally setting themselves apart, thus they are practicing their own form of inequality.

Make up your minds, people! Do you want to be treated the same or don`t you? You can`t have your cake and eat it too.
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Male 2,521
Is there also a "Straight History Month"?
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Male 1,429
Mind you, if she were a teacher in Texas (or any other similar state), she`d more likely be applauded.
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Male 1,429
This is one of the drawbacks to social Media. I mean, she was posting it on her personal facebook page, not teaching her way of thinking to her class. Unfortunately, with things like Facebook, people can get screwed over anything they do or say even outside of the work environment.

Do I agree with her? Hell no. Should she be fired over it? Again, hell no.... unless she was playing on facebook while she was supposed to be teaching.
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Female 65
This woman clearly hasn`t been informed that NPH is a god amongst men...
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Male 265
Old news...
When a teacher sneezes outside of the classroom all the parents yell and scream "How can they get sick, role models don`t sneeze!?!" to get the teacher fired.
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Male 109
Bad teacher
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Male 749
She thinks gay people are living against God`s law, lots of posters here think she`s a bigot and should be punished. Seems to me both sides want to enforce specific beliefs on the opposition. Fail all over the place.
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Male 701
She`s a bigot. Bad policy what? Facebook policy? School Policy? what are you asking?
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Male 434
She`s only a bad teacher if it spills into the classroom. I don`t think she did anything wrong. I can see people being dicks about it though. Man we suck sometimes.
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Male 4,395
But, but, they`re my beliefs. That doesn`t make it any less hurtful, or any less bigoted. Your beliefs are bigoted. When your words hurt a whole group of people you are bigoted.

I find it odd that the people who boast the most about being true Christians are the ones that behave the least Christian.
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Male 14,834
teachers should tell it like it is, not how they`d like it to be.

That means explain sexuality, don`t necessarily try to turn kids gay or straight.
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Male 757
this is why aliens won`t talk to us, they see all this poo and go back to mars lol
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Male 15,832
[quote]Bad Teacher Or Bad Policy?[/quote]
Uhh...both?
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Male 4,395
If I had a child at her school I wouldn`t want any of her bigotry rubbing off. Teachers should make school a positive environment. If you want to teach hate, whether direct or indirect like this, work at a private school that shares your beliefs.
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Male 934
drat her beliefs, she`s a moron.
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Male 719
Also, to address Gerry`s hypothetical from earlier:

There are huge differences between a teacher and a bartender.

The most important distinction is that teachers, like all public figures, are never really "off the clock." Any public statements they make reflect on the school.

As an example, Gilbert Godfrey is no longer the voice of the Aflac duck, because of comments made following the earthquake/tsunami in Japan. While I don`t agree with the decision, Aflac was perfectly within their rights to fire him, since they felt that their spokesman making insensitive comments would reflect poorly on their brand.
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Male 719
Yes, freedom of speech means that you have the right to express your opinions.

However, it doesn`t absolve you of the consequences.
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Male 201
This woman is indeed free, and should be, to say whatever she pleases; regardless of how off-base, extremist, and ignorant it is, however; as an educator at a publicly funded, which means secular, separate from any establishment of religion, institution, her viewpoints as manifested in regards to her students need to be in-keeping with secular fact. Secular, scientific fact tells us that homosexuality is a normal, biological, decision-free condition akin to attributes such as height or skin color.

Just as an aside; what kind of idiot does not privatize their social life on the internet in this day and age? We would never be having this conversation if she would have just adjusted her privacy settings. I guess the ugly truth always rears its head, though.
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Male 307
The posting of her personal opinions and beliefs are fine - however, the gray area which is going to present problems for her (and which I have the issue with) is by posting pictures of the school`s display and openly protesting a policy and/or procedure of the district, she possibly cross the line and may have violated the district`s social media policy (assuming they have one, as about 90% of employing entitties do these days).

Personally as a gay man, I find her comments reprehensible, but she does have the right to express them. However, when she brings her employer into the fray, they have every right (justifiably so) to take action against her.
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Male 38,480

Okay, suppose her comment on Facebook was public. If her church held a demonstration that had anti-gay sentiment, could she be fired for that as well? It`s in public. How much control do you give an employer over our personal lives? Over our beliefs?

As long as her conduct at work was within the employers guidelines she should be okay. Why should we worry when we get home "what will the boss say if I attend that political meeting"? Or `social` or `whatever` meeting.
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Female 2,674
@RuralNinja, no, it`s still more like shouting in a crowded room. Anyone could view her profile, and it most likely wasn`t a "trusted friend" who saw it. I don`t really care to search my professors on facebook, and I didn`t even use facebook until I graduated high school, but I can`t imagine it`s uncommon for students to see if their teachers are on facebook. Not really to add them as a friend, but maybe just to look at their page? Anyone could have decided to and then saw what she put because she didn`t have privacy settings up.

Also, people like to say that this is free speech and thus it`s okay. It technically is, but I don`t think the reaction would be the same if she was making comments about how black people should be slaves because her bible says they should be, or things like that. Her views could affect her teaching, so that should at least be looked into.
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Male 3,612
That’s just wrong. She has the right to say what she believes without fear of persecution.
Homosexuals should stand up besides her and support her freedom. Because they know what its like to be punished in believing something different.
Every American here should support her freedom say what she wants.
Wither we agree or disagree with she said.
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Male 519
@LillianDulci Whether it was private or not, no one was forced to read her facebook. Someone actively seeked out her profile, and then decided to spread it. Its less like shouting it across a room, and more like that "trusted" friend who gossips about your business behind your back.
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Male 2,737
Everybody has a right to their opinion here in the United States of America.Everyone has a right to voice their opinion. But as Mr. Ice T said in his rap song `Freedom of Speech`, just watch what you say.
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Female 23
Depending on the school or the district, teachers are held under strict standards and restrictions not only in the workplace but also in their personal life. It all depends on the school. I worked in a public school where we were all threatened of a write up or worse because we would meet for drinks once a month. Currently my friends are at a school where they are required to friend the principal and she will check to make sure that they never say anything negative.

I will say that Facebook is a hotspot for teachers and schools. The basic rule is, don`t put anything that you would not want your worst enemy to read.
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Female 2,674
"So someone rants on their personal page about their personal beliefs"
Only problem with this is she didn`t have privacy settings set on her page, so her page wasn`t private, it was public, and anyone [boss, students, etc] could see her personal beliefs. It`s one thing to share your personal beliefs with close friends and family, it`s another to shout them in the middle of a crowded room.
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Male 519
So someone rants on their personal page about their personal beliefs, and someone with a weak stomach turns it into a national forum? Whoever caused this non-issue to balloon needs the public flogging, not the teacher.
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Male 38,480

M_Archer - Are you saying your employer has the right to control your social, political and moral beliefs? Say a bar owner doesn`t like his bartenders anti-smoking comment on facebook. That might offend many of his customers who smoke. Your comment indicates the bartender should be fired.

I think persnal beliefs stay out of the workplace. But outside it`s none of my employers business. It was not that long ago that pro-gay comments could get you fired. I see no differance in this situation.
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Female 64
unless someone`s having gay sex in front of you, it really comes under the heading of `nunya`.

and if you feel that strongly from a religious point of view that being gay/lesbian/transgender/bisexual is a sin, then take solace in the `fact` that your `god` will exact vengence at a later date.

but for pete`s sake, keep your opinions about my private life/private activities to yourself cuz i ain`t interested in hearing them, free speech notwithstanding.
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Male 525
@Gerry1of1: You can also get fired for violating their code of conduct.

Perhaps they had some sort of "no homophobic remarks allowed by any staff" rule?
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Male 38,480

I`m gay. I don`t like her comments. But free speach isn`t just freedom to say things I like. As long as she wasn`t behaving badly at work it`s not our business. Do you think your boss should be able to fire or punish you for your political, moral, or social views ?

What`s next? If she belonged to church that had anti-gay views could she be suspended for that as well?
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Male 369
`But Mr. Barocas added, “Because her postings raised questions about her conduct within school, the school district can and should investigate whether she is performing her job in accordance with school policies and the state’s Law Against Discrimination.” `

Yup, which is why she should be suspended. That kinda prejudice is hardly condusive to teaching kids. Are her gay students ("perverted spirits")getting the same care and attention as her Christian brethren? Methinks not...
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Male 525
Free speech does not mean that other people are forced to listen to you.

That being said, the school can suspend anybody they want if they violated the code of conduct. But then again, the school is government-run and should be protected by the first amendment.

If it was a private school, I wouldn`t care.
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Male 616
remember that free speech thing they taught in history class?
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Male 25,416
It was Gerry that did it :P
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Female 2,674
Ports? :P
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Male 38,480
Link: Bad Teacher Or Bad Policy? [Rate Link] - New Jersey High School Teacher suspended for anti-gay ports on Facebook
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