Teacher could lose job over photo of students with duct tape over mouths
Some jokes are better left untold. That's a lesson that Ohio middle school teacher Melissa Cairns learned the hard way. The 33-year-old has come under fire after she posted a photo to Facebook of eight or nine of her students with duct tape over their mouths and the caption, "Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!"
And though Cairns maintains the whole thing was meant to be a gag, the controversy could now cost her job!
Apparently, the incident first started after one student, who was using the adhesive to fix a binder, jokingly put some of the tape on her mouth. Some of her classmates joined in on the joke and the class had Cairns take a photo, which she posted to her profile.
Unfortunately, some of Cairns' co-workers didn't find as funny. After seeing the photo, another school employee alerted their supervisor. Though she quickly removed the picture, Cairns was placed on paid leave in October. On Monday, she will find out the school board's decision over her status at the school.
"That was clearly my huge mistake. What I did was stupid and not well thought out," Cairns told WEWS. "Do I feel that this one, stupid mistake should cost me the last 10 years of all the good I've done? Absolutely not."
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And I have to say, I kind of agree. After all, it's not like Cairns herself forced her students to put duct tape on their mouths. It was a joke that taken out of context and then ended up being blown out of proportion. Compared to the horrible punishments that some teachers are actually giving, this was clearly not meant to be harmful or damaging in any way.
However, Cairns should have known better than to post a picture of her students on Facebook. Though I doubt she meant to violate their privacy in any way, the photo could become a legal issue, particularly since her students are minors.
Still, I don't think that warrants her losing her job, especially since she's been a teacher in the district for a decade! As long as she has learned her lesson (which it seems like she has), I don't see any reason for further punishment.
Image via Thinkstock