A school district voted to propose the termination of a teacher’s contract based on comments that the teacher made on Facebook. The teacher requested a hearing to challenge the proposed termination of her contract.

Following a hearing, the independent hearing examiner found that the teacher had made comments on Facebook about the school district, state testing, and students. Many of the posts contained profanity and some were posted during work hours and from the workplace. The teacher also did not maintain privacy settings on her Facebook account that would restrict her comments to friends only. Instead, her comments were available to the public. The teacher had previously been counseled by the district about the level of professionalism expected of her when communicating with others and had been warned that disciplinary action might result if she failed to meet the expected level of professionalism.

The hearing examiner noted that the school district had a policy regarding the use of social media that addressed the teacher as a role model, and recommended that the teacher’s contract be terminated.