IN the Greensboro News & Record, a daily newspaper serving Greensboro, North Carolina, we read Teacher may lose job after derogatory comments about her students on Facebook. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
A middle-school teacher in Wake County may be fired after she and her friends made caustic remarks on a Facebook page about her students, the South and Christianity.
Melissa Hussain, an eighth-grade science teacher at West Lake Middle School in Apex, was suspended with pay Friday while investigators review her case, according to Greg Thomas, a Wake schools spokesman. The suspension came after some of Hussain’s students and their parents objected to comments on her Facebook page, many of them revolving around her interaction with her Christian students.
Suspended? May be fired? What did she do — behave like John Freshwater? Did she burn students with a Tesla coil? Keep a bible in her desk? Teach creationism? Let’s read on:
Hussain wrote on the social-networking site that it was a “hate crime” that students anonymously left a Bible on her desk, and she told how she “was able to shame” her students over the incident.
Wow — this is serious! We continue:
Teachers across the nation have been suspended or fired because of questionable material posted on their Facebook pages and other online social networking sites. In 2008, seven employees of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., school system were disciplined and at least one person was fired because of Facebook postings. That led to a memo going to all Charlotte-Mecklenburg school staff warning that offensive postings to social networking sites are grounds for termination or disciplinary action.
Okay, fair enough. But what’s the offense in this case? Here’s more:
Parents said the situation escalated after a student put a postcard of Jesus on Hussain’s desk that the teacher threw in the trash. Parents also said Hussain sent to the office students who, during a lesson about evolution, asked about the role of God in creation.
On her Facebook page, Hussain wrote about students spreading rumors that she was a Jesus hater. She complained about her students wearing Jesus T-shirts and singing “Jesus Loves Me.” She objected to students reading the Bible instead of doing class work.
Aha! The plot thickens. In the Freshwater case, the teacher was the creationist with the bible. But this North Carolina case is the flip side of the Freshwater situation. Moving along:
The flash point for the comments came after the Bible was left on Hussain’s desk in December. The Bible was accompanied by an anonymous card, which, according to Hussain, said “Merry Christmas” with Christ underlined and bolded. She said there was no love shown in giving her the Bible.
“I can’t believe the cruelty and ignorance of people sometimes,” Hussain wrote on her Facebook page.
Well! If that doesn’t get her fired, what could? One more excerpt:
Hussain, a 2004 Florida State University graduate, has been a Wake County teacher since 2006. Her religious affiliation is not on her Facebook page.
This is a sticky situation. We’ll be watching for further developments.
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