Teacher’s Aide Suspended For Refusing To Give Up Facebook Password

Kimberly Hester, teacher facebook, facebook password, teacher rights, privacy

Image by Corey Leopold

As reported in the South Bend Tribune, a Michigan teacher’s aide was suspended from her job after refusing to give school administrators access to her personal Facebook account. Kimberly Hester was a teacher’s aide at Frank Squires Elementary in Cassopolis, Michigan until she posted a photo on Facebook of a co-worker’s pants around her ankles, and captioned it “Thinking of you”.

A complaint was made to the school, and the district superintendent repeatedly asked Hester for access to her Facebook page a few days later. Hester refused. Then, she reported to the South Bend Tribune, the district’s Special Education Director wrote to her, saying “[I]n 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 was suspended from her job and is now on unpaid leave. According to Barbara Frick, professor of labor law at the University of Notre Dame, because there are no state or federal laws protecting social media privacy in the workplace, the school district didn’t break the law by requesting access to a personal Facebook page.

Arbitration is scheduled for May.

 

For further details on the story, head on over to the South Bend Tribune.

 

Image by Corey Leopold

Nell Wulfhart By Nell Wulfhart
Nell Wulfhart is an editor at SMATOOS.com. Her interests are digital culture, developments in publishing and proper punctuation.

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