Teacher loses job over Facebook posts

A northeastern Ohio school teacher has lost his job following Facebook posts the school board said were racist and derogatory.
Associated Press
Jun 18, 2014

 

Akron city schools administrators said David Spondike posted the comments on his Facebook page after witnessing teenagers urinating near his front yard.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported the school board on Monday accepted a referee’s 18-page decision that determined the posting last October violated the district’s staff conduct and social media policies.

The referee’s ruling upholds an earlier decision by school board members to fire Spondike.

Comments

danbury dad

It is funny that a teacher can be fired (and rightfully so ) for racist comments but cannot be fired for poor performance in the classroom once they have achieved tenure. Just a thought.

FalconBall

That's incorrect. The problem is that most administrators will not follow the procedure to fire the teacher because they don't want to do the work. You can believe this or not, most teachers want the ineffective teacher fired because they negatively affect the climate of the whole school. Talk to some teachers and they will attempt to remain professional but many (in my family for sure) get very angry about that lame excuse used by administrators to publicly attack the union. Union reps have been very angry when blamed because the admin fails to follow procedures that were set in place simply so the teacher has a fair hearing and representation NOT meant to avoid work.

Abacus

You're spot on! Tenure allows due process. It does not "keep bad teachers from being fired." Some administrators turn a deaf ear to complaints about a teacher for any number of reasons (cronyism, laziness, wimpiness, among others). Teachers are very aware of who among them are in need of winnowing.

Informed

Exactly!! It's funny how administrators never get blamed for not doing their jobs!!

Truth2u

I'll just share this famous speech by the leading NEA lawyer and everyone can judge for themselves.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-...

JACKEL

I would probably said a few unsavory words if someone was pissing on my yard. What are they hogs ?

bondgirlM

amen!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I have had the pleasure of getting to talk to teachers as peers and it is a profession that (at least in public schools) really takes consideration to make a career commitment.

From my observances and in my opinion, as a teacher you go into it with altruistic, selfless reasons. Big-hearted optimism born of youth and a desire to make the world a better place. After paying for an education through a Master's degree you then get to compete in a job market that is feast-or-famine for teacher saturation.

Whether you work where you want to or not you then may not get to teach the ages/subjects you want. Your curriculum may be something you disagree with, or if not the content then the methodology. You are responsible for other peoples' kids who may very well never get to know you and who may very well have never taught basic life skills let alone academic subjects that you are expected to instill in them.

As a teacher you are caught between your union, administrators, PTA (or equivalent), special ethics/legal considerations for your position, the public at large, local/state/federal agencies, and other entities that vie to tell you what to do not for yourself but for others who may very well not respect nor care about everything mentioned before that was put into showing up in a classroom that, in Ohio, is still funded in an unconstitutional manner but with no real effort to fix it as it has been addressed in good faith (1).

You don't get a life like other people because anything you do in public is scrutinized. You don't even get to do things privately without extreme discretion or aliases for the same reason. When the treasury thins your job is the first to be threatened to leverage support from the community for a levy, making you a pawn against your neighbor who then has to make the tough decision of paying more into a system s/he may not like or see a neighbor lose his job.

As a teacher you are simultaneously the first to be propped up as the rare breed, foundation of a civil society; and the first to be thrown under the bus because of how disposable you, your loaned/paid-for Master's degree talents, and your ever-increasing age/outdatedness becomes. You have to compete against an "evergreen" pool of young teachers that won't stop being produced and for all of this, in Ohio, you start at $33,035 (2) while trying to pay down your house, car, education, groceries, and all the other bills you incur as a young person starting their adult life.

Bad teachers exist. Bad systems of teaching exist. Bad parents, union, administrators exist. But couldn't there be a better way to approach teaching as a profession? As a public service? If I am here offering my opinions then what's one more: John Taylor Gatto (3).

"He climaxed his teaching career as New York State Teacher of the Year after being named New York City Teacher of the Year on three occasions. He quit teaching on the OP ED page of the Wall Street Journal in 1991 while still New York State Teacher of the Year, claiming that he was no longer willing to hurt children. Later that year he was the subject of a show at Carnegie Hall called "An Evening With John Taylor Gatto," which launched a career of public speaking in the area of school reform, which has taken Gatto over a million and a half miles in all fifty states and seven foreign countries. In 1992, he was named Secretary of Education in the Libertarian Party Shadow Cabinet, and he has been included in Who's Who in America from 1996 on. In 1997, he was given the Alexis de Tocqueville Award for his contributions to the cause of liberty, and was named to the Board of Advisors of the National TV-Turnoff Week."

(1) http://www.ohiohistorycentral.or...

(2) http://www.nea.org/home/2011-201...

(3) https://www.johntaylorgatto.com/