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.
- 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”
- 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
- Adverse job actions
- 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
- 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
– #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
– #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
– #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
– #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
– #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