Facebook Posts End Florida Teacher's Tenure

A Bradenton, Florida high school teacher who fought for over seven months to get his job back, lost his tenure over the use of inappropriate language on his Facebook page to which his students had access.

A Bradenton, Florida high school teacher who fought for over seven months to get his job back, lost his tenure Monday evening, over the use of inappropriate language on his Facebook page to which his students had access.

Braden River High School suspended drama teacher Charles Willis without pay since last October, after he used inappropriate images, discussed drinking alcohol, and used profanity through acronyms on his Facebook page.

District officials deemed one item that stood out as most offensive on the teacher’s page was a pornographic picture titled “Accidental Porn,” according to an article on Bradenton.com

The 43-year-old teacher who has been in the Manatee school district for over ten years is said to have friended about 120 students at the high school. Willis did make his page private after it was discovered that he let students scrutinize his site.

It took a total of three votes by the Manatee school board to seal Willis’ fate. However, the school’s Superintendent Tim McGonegal was not pleased with the ruling and sought that the board members permanently terminate the drama teacher for his improprieties.

Board Chairman Robert Gause and member Karen Carpenter didn’t believe that Willis should have been fired for his Facebook postings particularly since the teacher did make amends by privatizing his settings.

Reportedly, Willis’ attorney Melissa Mihok did not refute the inappropriateness of her client’s social networking page but did argue, that the school district does not have a policy regarding Facebook. However, she suggested that she might appeal the board’s decision.

Should a teacher befriend students on Facebook or does that cross the line?

Photo courtesy of Baynews9.com