Teacher's Aide Suspended for Not Giving FB Password

A Michigan teacher's aide who posted a photo from a friend on her Facebook page says she was told to give the school district her Facebook password or be suspended.

Kimberly Hester, 27, a teacher's aide at Frank Squires Elementary school in Cassopolis, Mich. posted a photo from a friend on her Facebook wall with the friend's permission. 

A year ago, in April 2011, a coworker texted a photo showing herself with her pants around her ankles, with the message "thinking of you" as a joke. . . . "She's actually quite funny. It was spur of the moment," adding that there was nothing pornographic about the picture, which only showed the pants, part of her legs, and the tips of her shoes.

Nonetheless, someone who happened to be a family friend saw the photo and alerted the superintendent about the photo, calling it unprofessional and offensive, according to ABC News. Hester said the photo was not downloaded or commented on during work time. She said she was then called into the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District superintendent's office and told to show the Facebook page. Hester declined on grounds of privacy and the lack of a union representative.
She then received a letter from the district stating, "in the absence of you voluntarily granting Lewis Cass ISD administration access to you[r] Facebook page, we will assume the worst and act accordingly.”
Hester said she and the coworker in the photo were put on seven weeks of paid administrative leave, then suspended for 10 days. She said the coworker was forced to resign but has since taken another job.

Bill Young, Hester's attorney, said she will go before a private arbiter under her union's collective bargaining agreement in late May. 

Employees getting into trouble over Facebook is nothing new, we write about it all the time. But it seems that educators have the toughest battle. Anything on their Facebook walls or pages that have questionable content or can offend anyone seems fair game and reported to the principal or school district.

While some in Congress are starting legislation preventing employers from asking for Facebook passwords or information, so far it's been blocked. So the only way to stop others from reporting your activities is to only friend real friends, not people with plenty of time or on their hands and a possible grudge.

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