Teacher Terminated for Not Deleting Students on Facebook

June 2, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. comply [kuh m-PLAHY] (v.) – to follow something, usually an order or rule
Example: The student must comply with all the requirements to pass the subject.

2. decline [dih-KLAHYN] (v.) – to refuse or to express unwillingness to accept something
Example: The applicant declined the job offer because of low salary.

3. dictate [DIK-teyt, dik-TEYT] (v.) – to declare something with power or authority
Example: The leader dictates what needs to be done for the project.

4. observe [uh b-ZURV] (v.) – to follow something, such as a rule or tradition
Example: Students are expected to observe all the school’s rules.

5. terminate [TUR-muh-neyt] (v.) – to fire someone
Example: She was terminated last week because she revealed the company’s confidential information.


Read the text below.
A substitute teacher in Claremont, New Hampshire got terminated when she refused to remove her students from her Facebook friends.

Carol Thebarge [th uh bahrj], 79, was dismissed from teaching in Stevens High School when she did not comply with the school policy on social networking. The policy dictates that teachers and other school employees are not allowed to be friends with students on social media.

According to Thebarge, her dismissal was not how she intended to end her 35-year career. She said she chose not to remove her students from her Facebook friend list since they loved her posts. She also believes that her posts are not, in any way, inappropriate. Instead, she believes that her posts help build character and boost a person’s spirit. Her posts include pictures of her cats, her grandchildren, and her thought and wisdom gained through experience.

Claremont Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin said Thebarge had to be dismissed, as she chose to decline to follow written school board policy. He also added that the officials had already given Thebarge a memo several years ago regarding the same matter.

The school management has been observing strict implementation of the policy on using social networking sites since it may result in inappropriate issues about the boundaries between students and employees.

Another reason for the strict implementation is the recent arrest of a Math teacher, Christopher LeBlanc, for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student. LeBlanc also taught in Stevens High School.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think firing Thebarge for not complying with the policy is appropriate? Why or why not?
·         If you were Thebarge, would you have complied with the policy than be fired? Kindly discuss.

Discussion B

·         How could social networking sites like Facebook affect the teacher-student relationship?
·         Should rules about teacher-student relationships be also applied outside the school? Why or why not?

June 2, 2014