The Ashley Payne Affair Revisited

What's wrong with this picture?

One of the earliest Ethics Alarms posts concerned Barrow County, Georgia, teacher Ashley Payne, who was forced out of her job at Apalachee High School for posting photos on Facebook that showed Payne drinking beer and wine while on a vacation to Europe. Barrow had a policy stating that employees can be investigated, disciplined and terminated for postings on Web sites that contain provocative photographs, sexually explicit messages, use of alcohol, drugs or anything students are not supposed to do. In the initial post, I took the position that the school over-reacted, but that Payne was still accountable because she knew what the policy was and violated it:  Continue reading

Florida, Facebook, and Teacher Conduct

Two teachers are out of a job. Both share some responsibility for their fates. The question is how much, and whether their school districts over-reacted to their conduct.

The easier of the two tales, and by far the funnier, took place in Prairie Village, a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas.  A Mission Valley middle school teacher (make that ex-teacher) named Ryan Haraughty was drawing a map of the United States on the blackboard and drew Florida out of proportion. The extra-long, engorged Florida drew snickers from his teen age students, which Haraughty acknowledged by quipping, “Florida got excited.” Hilarity ensued. Continue reading