In the old days, teachers would come home with stories about their day to tell their husbands, family and friends. Generally, they could feel safe – if they trusted these people – that what they said wouldn’t spread to the students and parents. However, technology has changed this old paradigm both in the ability to snap photos on a cell phone and post them to Facebook. While to many people, this activity may feel private in the same way as telling stories to friends and family, it’s not.
Case in point is this story of a Chicago teacher who took photos of a girl’s hair breaded with Jolly Rancher candies, posted them to Facebook and made snarky comments on her profile. This teacher may have felt because her page is viewable only by her friends and family, that this was a private act. Wrong.
A mutual friend of the teacher and the student’s parent downloaded the photos and comments to a CD and shared it with the now furious student’s parent who is looking to sue. Lesson? No matter who you are, think of yourself as a journalist when posting to Facebook not as the neighborhood gossip sharing stories over the the fence. This may take the fun out of Facebook but that’s better being the target of lawsuit.