Thursday, August 19, 2010

H.S. Teacher Loses Job Over Facebook Posting

A Cohasset teacher, unschooled in the ways of Facebook, learned a stinging lesson this week after she lost her job over comments she put on her page.

The postings on the social networking site were discovered by Cohasset parents on Tuesday, but in just one day they caused such a furor that by Tuesday afternoon the teacher, Dr. June Talvitie-Siple, a supervisor of the high school's math and science program, was forced to resign.

"Clearly, Dr. Siple didn't know how to work Facebook. Maybe she's a great bio teacher, but the Internet is not her thing," said senior Olivia Yerardi.

The teenagers get it, but Siple learned the hard way that her Facebook postings, which were supposed to be private, were not.
"It's not smart, but if you are in professional position, maybe you shouldn't be putting what you really feel about your job or whatever on Facebook," said student Terry MacCormack.

On her Facebook page, Siple called the residents of Cohasset "arrogant and snobby," and said that she is "so not looking forward to another year at Cohasset schools."

As the high school supervisor for math and science, Siple was making more than $92,000 a year.

"I think that's pretty ungrateful, taking that much of the town budget going into the schools, filling up the position, teaching kids when her heart wasn't in to it," said resident Sam Green.

In a telephone interview, Siple said she is not apologizing for her comments, but that she is sorry that they went public. She said she was referring to the political situation in the school, which she called "very stressful," and she said she thought she was only blowing off steam with friends in private.

But back in February, when Siple got sick, she wrote on her page, "Now I remember why I stopped teaching kids. They are all germ bags."

Siple said her Facebook friends knew it was a joke.

"It's horrid. Who says that about children you are teaching, children you are raising that you are a role model for?" said parent Susan Wilcox.

Siple said she honestly thought she had set her Facebook settings on private and she took full responsibility for not doing so.

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