Monday, February 14, 2011

Blog sparks debate of online issues

Article about Teacher in trouble for blog

I logged on to check my e-mail this morning and saw a link about a teacher in PA that was in trouble with her district for things she wrote on her blog. I immediately clicked on the link to read more about it.

At the heart of the issue is that she is a public employee using the web to share her personal feelings on her job and her students. She does not identify anyone specifically but apparently it was clear she was and who she was talking about. Does she have the right to share her opinions about her classroom in a public forum? I think she is legally correct. She can share whatever she wants as long as she understands that anything she says could have legal implications is she names specific people. With that said, ethically I don't believe it is in her best interest to share her thoughts in such a public forum.You need to know your audience when sharing information that people could use to judge you as a person or as an employee.  At the very least she should have done more to hide her identity - somehow someone found out it was her or we wouldn't be hearing about this.

What difference is it when people share stories about coworkers or subordinates that do stupid things at work or share how frustrated they are with people.

For example, a family friend posted on facebook how he hates when people complicate work by doing stupid things and made a clear reference to that "stupid" person was his boss. Now, he isn't legally liable, but if his facebook is public and his boss were to check his facebook acct. he would see this comment and may not be so happy with my friend. Probably not the best idea.

The ACLU has taken her case and it will be interesting to watch what happens. For now, she is on paid suspension until the matter is resolved.



  1. Oh how interesting. That is a really hot subject now a days. I saw relatively recently a principal who was let go due to a comment she made on her facebook about the whole town, students and parents being stuck up. It is amazing that some of these people could be so irresponsible and write things in a public forum. You are completely right by stating everyone has the right to state their feelings, yet I do believe the internet is not the place for that. As an educator she should have remembered she is constantly in the public eye. I suppose with all this technology we should be careful what we say or type. Maybe venting to our family and significant others is the only option!

  2. This is very interesting! I think if you want to express yourself freely online, make sure that the places you do that- whether facebook or a blog- have proper privacy settings so not everyone has access to what you write. Regardless, confidentiality is confidentiality and that needs to be followed very carefully. I think if people want to vent in a personal online forum they need to make sure that it is personal and private. If they're blogging to communicate with other educators and teachers they need to keep it vague and appropriate!