New Hampshire Teacher Fired for Refusing to Unfriend Students on Facebook
Carol Thebarge's 35 years of teaching ended when she refused to de-friend more than 250 students
Carol Thebarge taught for nine years at Stevens High School in Claremont, N.H.
Recently, she was fired because of Facebook. Not because of any impropriety, but because she was friends with about 250 current students, and she refused to unfriend them.
“There’s a paranoia about the Internet and I think that we’re not realizing how valuable Facebook can be, used properly,” Thebarge told CBS affiliate WBZ Boston.
“They gave me an ultimatum: Either take them all off [her Facebook] or you are terminated,” Thebarge continued. “And I decided that I would not comply and so I was terminated.”
“Facebook is a wonderful communication tool among friends,” superintendent Dr. Middleton McGoodwin told WBZ. “But teachers are not students’ friends. [Thebarge] is a wonderful lady and she’s loved by many but that doesn’t give you allowance to ignore a protocol designed to protect all.”
Some students are picketing for Thebarge’s reinstatement, but the school says she won’t be allowed to return if she doesn’t comply with the policy, and Thebarge says she wouldn’t return even if she was allowed.
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