'Snobby' Parents Don't Care for Teacher's Facebook Post, Have Her Deleted

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True, Media, Education: Teens

Let's face it: Most teenagers are germ bags.

In fact, if you're going to describe them as bags of anything, suggesting they are full of germs is one of the more benign alternatives.

Likewise, when you're speaking about their parents, there are many more colorful adjectives to describe them other than "snobby."

Yet, you still don't want to post these sorts of comments on your Facebook page -- especially if you're a public school teacher. June Talvitie-Siple apparently skipped the "social" part of social media and ended up unemployed.

The 54-year-old high school teacher in Cohasset, Mass., (about 20 miles southwest of Boston) is no Mel Gibson when it comes to angry rants. Still, she did let it be known on Facebook that her students are "germ bags" with "snobby" and "arrogant" parents.

ABC News reports Talvitie-Siple, who supervised her school's math and science programs, was forced to resign this week after some of those allegedly snobby parents huffed a little louder than usual after viewing her online comments.

Two parents in particular, ABC News reports, called Cohasset School District Superintendent Denise Walsh. Talvitie-Siple tells the network the superintendent was on vacation overseas, but sent her an e-mail asking for her resignation.

"She did what was probably the most appropriate thing to do," Talvitie-Siple tells ABC News. "I embarrassed her. I embarrassed the school district and, you know, if I were her, I probably would have done the same thing. It was not a surprise."

Talvitie-Siple says she thought her posts would only be visible to her friends and didn't realize that her Facebook settings made the comments visible to others on the Internet.

She made the "germ bag" reference, Talvitie-Siple tells ABC, because she was so tired of catching illnesses from students. She says had been sick for six months, and, every time she started to recover, she would get another bug.

"When I took this job, I knew I was risking the possibility that I would be exposed to kids again in a concentrated form, and that I might get sick and, sure enough, I ended the year with pneumonia," she tells the network.

Talvitie-Siple explains the comment about parents was inspired by political conflicts between the teachers' union, administrators and parents.

"It's caused a very stressful year for every administrator, not just me," she tells ABC News. "And it's made it a very caustic place to work. (It's) a product of a lot of frustration and angst about whether I should leave or not."

Talvitie-Siple says she's adjusted her Facebook settings and hopes her experience can be a lesson for others.

"I take full responsibility for my stupidity and I hope it serves as an example to kids that they need to be very, very vigilant about their privacy," she tells ABC.

What Talvitie-Siple did may be embarrassing, but she belongs to a growing club.

Sociology professor Gloria Gadsden was fired earlier this year from her job at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania after such Facebook posts as, "Does anyone know where I can find a very discrete hitman? Yes, it's been that kind of day."

She followed that gem up with: "Had a good day today. DIDN'T want to kill even one student. :-). Now Friday was a different story."

University officials were not amused.

Other companies are also not laughing at employees' Facebook quips, either. ABC reports Virgin Atlantic Airlines sacked 13 cabin crew members after they made fun of passengers and joked about defective engines.

Ironically, Talvitie-Siple quipped on her Facebook page, "I'm so not looking forward to another year at Cohasset Schools."

Not a problem now.

"I made a stupid mistake," tells ABC News. "It may have cost me my career."

Related: Could Facebook Keep Your Kid Out of College?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.