This is the photo that got Ashley Payne, a High School english teacher fired from her Job at Apalachee HS in Barrow County, Georgia. Nevermind the fact that she was on vacation, nevermind the fact that she didn’t friend students on her Facebook page where the photo was found, nevermind the fact that she did nothing illegal whatsoever, she was told to resign or be suspended. She chose to resign so not to have a suspension on her teaching record ( I guess that is something like that elusive “Permanent Record” we were all threatened with whenever we got crossways with a teacher or the Principle).
OK, so lets recap, She wasn’t even on this continent when the photo was taken, she was on vacation, she is of legal drinking age, she is an adult, she does not friend students on her Facebook page, and does not share her pictures with anyone but those people who do friend her. So why in the world would she loose her job over this? Well there is a nebulous policy that gives her Principle and the School Board way too much judgement authority over “inappropriate” teacher content on the internet. For God’s sake she isn’t naked, That I could see as inappropriate.
No, she is an adult on vacation enjoying a couple of alcoholic beverages in a responsible manner…The SHAME!
We really need to get past these Victorian attitudes where alcohol is concerned in this country. The Barrow County School Board is now being sued by Ms. Payne so she can try and get her job back. I hope she wins, and wins back pay too, because she has been unemployed ever since this incident happened originally in November of 2009.
What are your thoughts? Clearly she is drinking and she is an educator. Are we this oversensitive to the taboo of alcohol? Seriously, you can’t have a picture of an yourself on vacation drinking responsibly without your job being in jeopardy? So tell me, am I off base? Or does this woman deserve her job back?
UPDATE: 2/14/11 To all who would leave a comment about my inappropriate use of “Principle”…I know that I screwed up. It was pointed out to me within 30 minutes of posting this article. I made the decision to leave it in place as is, because the comments that were left wouldn’t make sense if I changed the text. I didn’t want to remove comments from our loyal readers to “clean it all up”. I get it, I made a grammatical mistake, the irony of which hasn’t escaped me either that I am discussing an English teacher that lost her job as well. I’m sure if you want to go back through all 650 posts on this site, you can find plenty of typos and misspellings. Knock yourself out! I however will continue to focus on the issue at hand here where a teacher LOST HER JOB FOR DRINKING A BEER! I will no longer reply to people simply pointing out my grammatical deficiencies.
JIM’S UPDATE 2/15/11 While Don will no longer be responding to his grammatical deficiencies, please feel free to point out all of his other shortcomings, which are still fair game.