Monday, November 16, 2009

Have a Drink, Lose Your Job

Joel Klein doesn't need to look too far when he reminisces about the good old days. The national papers are full of inspirational tips and tidbits for inclusion in the next UFT contract.

In Barrow County, Georgia, teacher Ashley Payne has been fired. Ms. Payne maintained a Facebook page, and it contained pictures of her personally holding old demon alcohol in her pedagogical hand. Some virtuous parent found that offensive and complained to the school board.

Ms. Payne does not include her students among her Facebook friends. Nonetheless, if it's on the internet, people can see it. Perhaps her local school board was concerned that students might locate the pictures and be influenced to take a drink. It's conceivable, in fact, that Barrow County is a dry county, like Mayberry. However, Ms. Payne does not remotely resemble Otis the town drunk.

It's unfortunate for her that Otis doesn't run the local school board. From what I've observed, his judgment is much clearer than that of the real people who do.

To be fair, Ms. Payne went beyond simply drinking alcohol. Apparently, she also used the word "bitch" on her page. Naturally, I was shocked and stunned. But I had to ask myself--how did these pure and chaste schoolboard members even know what the word meant? Had they used it themselves? Had their virgin ears been sullied by the foul vocabulary item?

If that's the case, shouldn't they have recused themselves, or issued immediate resignations? Shouldn't they have followed their convictions about the nature of evil and committed ritual suicide, lemming-style, off the nearest cliff or tall building? Why should only Ms. Payne be targeted?

That's a pretty easy question--because teachers are always targeted for this sort of abuse. That's why teachers need tenure. And that's why Ms. Payne is suing her school district. I hope she not only gets her job back, but demands they pay dearly for their idiotic indulgence in self-righteous sanctimony.
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