Cybertraps: Educator Vacation and Beach Photos Cybertraps 130

  • The Saga of Ashley Payne (2011)

  • After her first year of teaching, Payne went on a trip to Europe. When she returned, she created a Facebook album with several hundred vacation photos. A handful showed her enjoying a drink or two.

  • The photo album was marked “private,” but could still be viewed by her Facebook “friends” (which did not include any students)

  • She also mentioned on Facebook that she was heading out to play a game called “Crazy Bitch Bingo” at a local club

  • One her vacation photos and the club post were printed out and sent anonymously to Payne’s principal

  • On February 6, 2011, I appeared on CBS News “Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood” to discuss internet privacy; Ashley Payne was also interviewed. “”

  • The Questions

  • Can educators post photos of themselves on vacation on social media?
    • Yes, but …
    • Teachers are generally (and sometimes legally, as in Canada) held to a higher standard of conduct online
    • Persistent double standard – female teachers more closely scrutinized and more harshly judged
    • “Personal time” is often not “private”
  • Challenging Definitions
    • “racy photos”
    • “scantily clad”
    • “indecent”
    • “risque”
  • Legal Issues
    • First Amendment
    • Decency / Obscenity
    • District / School Policies
  • What are the potential risks?
    • Aggressive searches by curious students
    • Loss of privacy (i.e., control over what is shared)
    • Oversharing by friends or family
    • Posts by second employers (modeling agencies, fishing charters)
    • Unflattering posts by a friend or a complete stranger
    • Public criticism / parental trolling
    • Harassment
    • Adverse job actions
    • Theft
  • What can teachers do to protect themselves?
    • Clean up social media channels before applying for jobs
    • Review privacy settings
    • Reflect on the true meaning of “friendship”
    • Create a “Custom List” of Facebook or Instagram friends
    • Share albums directly with trusted friends in Google Photos or Apple iCloud
    • Selfie-searches
    • Third-party scrubbers (but beware of scams)
    • Hashtag Advocacy
    • Russian teachers protested the firing of a Siberian teacher after she shared a photo of herself in a bikini, getting ready for “cold swimming”
    • Legal counsel for adverse labor actions
  • Resources

– #2022–04–19 What the Tech: Facebook vacation photos “” – #2021–03–09 L.A. Teachers Union Facebook Group Warns Educators Not to Post Vacations Online Due to Bad Optics “–1574828” – #2019–04–02 Teachers turn on bikini power online to support colleague “” – #2018–06–14 Teacher are humans, too! Siberian tutors in bikini protest flashmob to support a colleague “” – #2018–06–10 Teacher fired in Omsk after posing in swimsuit as plus size model “” – #2016–11–28 Should teachers be banned from posting ‘scantily clad’ photos? Ottawa board seems to think so “” – #2016–11–28 Ottawa’s Public School Board Wants to Ban Teachers From Posting Beach Photos “” – #2016–04–10 Primary school teacher is sacked after video of her twerking in a bikini in Mexico sweeps the web and is spotted by outraged parents “–3532399/Primary-school-teacher-sacked-video-twerking-bikini-Mexico-sweeps-web-spotted-outraged-parents.html” – #2016–11–27 Teachers on Facebook: Is posting that beach bikini shot going too far? “” – #2015–10–22 Utah teacher wins battle with school over her ‘inappropriate’ Instagram account “–1.2407944” – #2015–02–10 Teachers tripped up by Facebook rants and bikini pics “ ” – #2013–11–09 Too Sexy to Teach! H.S. Teacher Fired Over Bikini Pics “” – #2013–11–05 Idaho high school basketball coach Laraine Cook fired after posting Facebook photo of boyfriend grabbing breast “–1.1507889” – #2012–04–10 Should Teachers Be Disciplined For Online Lives? “” – #2011–10–11 Judge Rules Against Teacher Who Says She Was Fired Over Facebook Photos “” – #2011–02–08 Teacher Fired for Drinking on Facebook Isn’t the Real Problem “” – #2011–02–06 Did the Internet Kill Privacy? “” – #2008–04–30 Teacher Moonlighting as Bikini Mate Cut Loose “”

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