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Teacher In Hot Water After Facebook Photo Surfaces of Students With Mouths Duct-Taped Shut

Duct Tape

It’s a Facebook photo middle school math teacher Melissa Cairns wished she never posted. The snap, which has since been removed from her page, showed several of her students with duct tape over their mouth. “Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!,” read the caption.

It was meant to be a joke. What had happened is one student was using the duct tape to fix a binder, and that student playfully put the tape over her own mouth. Some of her classmates aped her pose of silence, and then it was the students who encouraged Cairns to take the picture.

But when she posted the photo to her Facebook page in October things stopped being funny. Once the administration of Buchtel Community Learning Center in Akron, Ohio caught wind of the photo, they immediately placed the teacher on administrated leave, saying she violated the students’ privacy.

She’s been out of work since, and next week the Akron Public Schools Board of Education will determine if the ten year teaching vet will lose her job permanently.

“That was clearly my huge mistake. What I did was stupid and not well thought out,” Cairns told ABC 5. “Do I feel that this one, stupid mistake should cost me the last 10 years of all the good I’ve done? Absolutely not.”

What do you think? Should the School Board cut Cairnes some slack? Or is a rigid interpretation of the rules concerning privacy and social media in order?

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