The following is a re-post of an article by Julie Tappendorf from The Municipal Minute, an Ancel Glink local government blog that she edits...
A teacher was fired for her social media activities that referenced a dispute she had with a student in one of her classes. After the student challenged an answer on a test that had been marked wrong by the teacher, both the teacher and the student posted about the incident, and each other, on various social media platforms, including Facebook. After the teacher's posts were made available to the school, the teacher was terminated. According to news stories about the termination, the teacher's posts included the following:
After the semester is over and she's no longer my student, I will post her name, her picture and her bio on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Count on it. For now, I'm bound by university rules that grant her more latitude in freedom of speech than I have. After she graduates and I retire, all bets are off.
In another Facebook post, the teacher posted a meme of a wrapped present with the following message:
I'm sorry if I upset you. Please accept this complimentary (sex toy) and go f--- yourself.
As we have discussed in past blog posts, employees can be disciplined, and even terminated, for their social media activities, subject to certain constitutional and labor law rights and protections. Employees need to be aware that their social media activities are not always protected.