Skip to comments.New Hampshire teacher resigns rather than 'unfriend' students on Facebook
Posted on 04/10/2014 6:17:42 AM PDT by JoeProBono
CLAREMONT, N.H.,A 79-year-old substitute teacher chose to resign from teaching after a very unfriendly dispute with school administrators in Claremont, N.H.
Carol Thebarge opted to give up her job after 35 year instead of unfriending her students on Facebook.
"Do we have the right as teachers, when we respect our students and our students respect us, to have that relationship?" Thebarge told WMUR. "I feel like mine is very safe. I have never been inappropriate."
School administrators at Stevens High School told Thebarge that her account was a potential safety concern, especially after another teacher was let go after being charged in a sexual assault case involving a 14-year-old student.
They gave me an ultimatum -- either take them all off or you are terminated, Thebarge told CBS Boston. And I decided that I would not comply and so I was terminated. And its caused a firestorm across the entire area.
The elderly woman apparently felt that her professional life wasnt as important as her personal relationships with her students.
"I'm like a grandmother to these students," Thebarge said. "That's my role. I'm like a grandmother."
Some students are circulating a petition to get Thebarge reinstated, but Stevens High officials say she wont be back unless she complies with the schools policy.
Her choice, but I support the rule.
Teachers should maintain a separate social life from their students.
Wow she looks damn good for 79. But sad to say she ran into more liberal fascism. Teaching kids about sodomy is OK. Teacher being a friend, not OK.
YES....WHAT YOU SAID!!!
Schools are training grounds for young citizens-to-be, with teachers representing the fear-inspiring authority figures. Student-teacher chumminess undermines this training.
‘Live Free or Die’...ROTFLMAO!
ditto... but she is 79... i can see her not choosing her career at this point...
i have my own rule regarding Facebook... i do not except friend requests from anyone under 18--except for my sons... i think my youngest FB friend is my nephew's wife who is 28...
NOBODY looks that young at 79. She’s either had a face life or the picture has been revised to make her look younger. In another picture she’s not just resting her head in her hands, she’s obviously holding back the age lines around her mouth. If youth is so important to her, I’m glad she retired.
I support this lady and freedom of association.
No mention whether this was a social ir work Facebook account. When I worked for KIPP Schools, many teachers had two accounts and kept their teaching Facebook page clear or their personal lives. Facebook can be very useful tracking students during. What is going on in a students social life can absolutely affect their learning. Public schools don’t really care, they don’t go the extra mile, and most simply want the kids to show up so they get paid. Once they graduate, they could care less. KIPP was the opposite. They went as far as to track their students in college and offer assistance. Its no wonder their are crushing the public school model.
if they are underage, then employees should not cultivate social relationships with them, even confined to social media.
if you are in a colleigate environment dealing with adult persons, then my position is that you should not have such relationships while that person is in your class, or under your professional interest. former students and non students have no conflict, and such restrictions might interfere with freedom of association. for ADULTS, not children.
the kids and parents at my kids’ school have email addresses and phone numbers and email and call each other a lot.
What about the open door policy?
The school is effing wrong
It was much better when that used to be the case. The "friend" relationship, even when the adult has no bad intentions, can so easily be misread by students. Better that personal issues get referred to trained counselors.
Besides which, this is a substitute teacher. It's just not smart to be anything but aloof and just do the job...keeping the kids safe, maintaining order, teaching the lesson, leaving the room in one piece. If she can "friend" the students, so can anyone who walks in that room for a day.
She has problems with her judgement. She should resign.
Nice lady, but why is she still working at age 79?
Never have been, never will be. Despite the complaints and cajoling from my sisters that I’m “antisocial”. You wanna talk to me? Email or call, I’m available.