As the Nutmeg Board of Education was preparing to reconvene into open session after completing its executive session discussion last week, veteran Board member Bob Bombast told the Board to hold up because he had a concern.
Mr. Chairperson recognized Bob, “OK, Bob, but it’s late so keep it short.”
Bob thanked Mr. Chairperson and explained, “I heard from a friend that Tom Teacher has been on Facebook trashing the Board. I want to know what Mr. Superintendent is going to do about it.”
Mr. Superintendent looked puzzled. “I have no idea what you are talking about. I have better things to do than to monitor the social media accounts of the 500 teachers in Nutmeg. Who’s this ‘friend’ talking about Tom Teacher behind his back? And what is Tom Teacher supposed to have said?”
“I am not going to reveal my source,” Bob responded. “But he told me that Tom Teacher has posted on Facebook that the members of the Nutmeg Board of Education are idiots and that Mr. Chairperson couldn’t find Robert’s Rules of Order with both hands and a flashlight.”
Now Mr. Chairperson shared Bob’s concern. “We need to get to the bottom of this. Mr. Superintendent, I want you to meet with Tom Teacher ASAP and report back to the Board. It’s bad enough that we have to put up with parents slamming us on social media. But we don’t have to let our own employees take shots as well.”
Mr. Superintendent wasted no time. The next day, he called Tom Teacher down to the central office and laid it on the line. “We have it on good authority that you have been insulting the Board on your Facebook page. I am directing you to sign on to your Facebook account so I can see just how bad it is.”
Tom smirked at the directive, but he complied. Soon, Mr. Superintendent was leaning over Tom’s shoulder and reading Tom’s Facebook page. “So, it’s true!” he exclaimed. “Your posts are just as bad as I thought.” Mr. Superintendent then placed Tom on leave and printed out the offensive posts.
Mr. Superintendent had the posts scanned, and he sent them by email to the Board members. However, before Mr. Superintendent could follow up with a call to Mr. Chairperson, the phone rang. The President of the Nutmeg Union of Teachers was on the line. She explained that she did not agree with Tom’s rants on Facebook, but she asked Mr. Superintendent to drop the matter and return Tom Teacher to duty.
“Tom Teacher has the right to express his opinion about the Board members and to share it with the world. Remember the First Amendment?” she chided.
Mr. Superintendent reflected on whether he would rather fight with Tom Teacher and NUTS or with the Board members who employ him, and he chose the former. “Sorry, but we cannot put up with teachers undermining the good work of the Board of Education. Tell Tom Teacher that he has twenty-four hours to submit his resignation or I will initiate termination proceedings,” he responded.
Is Mr. Superintendent on solid ground? Continue Reading