Reports of teachers getting in trouble even for appearing in Facebook photos with a totally legal alcoholic beverage have caused some to be more careful about what they post online. But apparently, one Chicago teacher didn't think taking a picture of one of her students and making fun of her on Facebook would pose a problem. Now she's under investigation by Chicago Public Schools.
For picture day last week, 7-year-old Ukailya Lofton begged her mother, Lucinda Williams, to put Jolly Rancher candies at the ends of her braids after she saw the style in a magazine. Her computer teacher found this hilarious, so she took a picture of her, "then she said 'my boyfriend can't believe this,'" says Ukailya.
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In this report from ABC 7 Chicago, Williams says, "She told me her teacher told her to put her hair in her face and she took out her cell phone and she took a picture, not knowing she was putting my baby on Facebook and criticize her."
Apparently the teacher hadn't mastered Facebook's privacy settings, because when Williams went online she saw the photo, which the teacher captioned "right, this is for picture day." She says there were also comments from the woman's friends, including, "if you are going to make your child look ridiculous, the least you can do is have them matching," "yeah, this is foolishness," and, "I laughed so hard that my contact popped out."
Williams had a meeeting with the principal and the teacher and the woman apologized, but Williams says she should have been disciplined too. "She never apologized to my daughter. She is still in the school. She wasn't suspended. I mean, it's like nothing happened. She just apologized and that's it. That's not enough," Williams says.
The school district says it's still investigating and "If policies have in fact been violated, the district will move on disciplinary action." Williams is filing a lawsuit against the district tomorrow, which may be a little extreme. Presumably it will claim that Ukailya is now suffering from emotional issues, but while the teacher's behavior was clearly wrong, it doesn't seem traumatizing. However, the school does need to send the message that disrespecting students and posting their photos online won't be tolerated. Ukailya's hairdo was definitely unusual, and it isn't surprising that someone made fun of her. But that kind of immature behavior is expected from other kids, not the teacher.
Teacher Allegedly Mocks Student On Facebook [ABC News]