Tirade of abuse on Facebook leads to Teacher quitting

We all know that Facebook and other social networking sites can be a wonderful thing most of the time, but beware those who haven’t quite got a grip on using such sites as mistakes can surely catch up with you. That’s certainly the experience of one teacher in Cohasset in Massachusetts who thought comments she put on Facebook could only be seen by her friends and which serves as a cautionary tale.

Dr. June Talvitie-Siple has now resigned after she posted remarks, described as a “tirade of abuse”, on her Facebook page about the school she worked at, the pupils and even the town. In one comment she said, “I’m so not looking forward to another year at Cohasset schools. Now I remember why I stopped teaching! Kids… they are all germ bags.” She also described the town of Cohasset as “arrogant” and also “snobby,” according to Greg Milam on Sky News.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, it’s caused rather a furore in the town of Cohassets although the teacher defended herself by saying, “”I don’t regret the comments I made because I thought I made them in confidence. I’m human. I know a lot about technology but I still made a mistake. Not everybody is arrogant and the kids are great, they’re not germ bags. It is a joke.”

Dr. Talvitie-Siple’s resignation has been confirmed by the assistant superintendant at the school, Alfred Slanetz, who said, “It is really unfortunate what happened. I think the lesson at the end of the day is that whatever you put on these social networking sites like Facebook you should consider it could become public.”

This sorry story is certainly a reminder of just how careful we should be when using social networking sites. For more on this go to sky.com. For more on the use of social networking in schools and how schools are coping with it see our previous article.

What do you think about the harsh lesson that Dr. Talvitie-Siple has learnt? Do you feel she was totally out of order, or maybe you feel that we’ve all said things at the wrong time in the wrong place before that we regret? We’re interested to know so please do send in your comments about this.