Teacher Calls Students 'Little Criminals' on Facebook

Filed under: In The News, Media

little criminals on facebook

What is posted online stays online. Like, forever. Credit: Getty Images

Rule No. 1, class: Never -- and that means never -- post anything on the worldwide Web you wouldn't want seen by the whole wide world.

That especially applies to Facebook.

Got that, all you little future criminals? Oops. Maybe "little criminals" is a little too harsh. Any way that last statement can be withdrawn? No?

Rule No. 2, class: What is posted online stays online. It's toothpaste out of the tube. You can't take it back.

These are harsh rules to learn, and, The New York Times reports, a first-grade teacher in Paterson, N.J. is learning them the hard way. Despite all the warnings people receive about watching what they post online, she allegedly just had to go and call her students "future criminals" and herself their "warden" on her Facebook page.

The Times reports the teacher from P.S. 21 in Paterson, who has not been publicly named, is on administrative leave.

She obviously didn't read about her colleague in Chicago who snapped a picture of a 7-year-old student and posted it on Facebook with mocking comments.

Then, The Times reports, there was the high school English teacher in Doylestown, Pa., who was suspended after she called students "disengaged, lazy whiners" on her blog.

People in New Jersey are not amused by this latest incident.

Irene Sterling, president of the Paterson Education Fund, a nonprofit group that supports local schools, tells The Times the teacher's Facebook page was open to everyone.

"It's horrible," she tells the newspaper. "And unfortunately, I don't think she's the only teacher in Paterson who thinks that way."

Paterson Board of Education president Thomas Best tells The Times that's definitely true.

"I've heard comments like this before," he tells the newspaper. "It's not on Facebook, but a lot of times the kids are referred to as 'animals.' "

Not that he approves of such talk. He tells The Times such comments are "unacceptable."

The teacher's lawyer suggests there might be a free speech issue involved.

"My feeling is that if you're concerned about children, you're concerned about what goes on in the classroom, not about policing your employee's private comments to others," Nancy Oxfeld tells The Times.

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