Wyoming teacher facing suspension over tweet

A screenshot of the tweet posted by a Wyoming high school teacher. (Sept. 12. 2014)


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A Wyoming teacher is facing a 13-day suspension after writing an offensive tweet about one of her students.

The tweet read, “I’m sure the girl who is taking my economics class for the second time will make an excellent mom come December. #sarcasm.”

Wyoming teacher tweet UNRESIZED 091214
(Screenshot of the tweet)

The teacher’s Twitter account is now deactivated.

24 Hour News 8 initially found out about the tweet from a student who said before the offensive tweet was posted, no one knew the teen was pregnant. The teen tipster described the tweet as bullying, saying it was “upsetting and disappointing.”

Wyoming Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Reeder said the district agrees the teacher stepped over the line, and said it took action.

“To the young lady and to her family, I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m truly sorry because this should not happen.”

Reeder said a student alerted administration to the tweet on Tuesday. After school, administrators contacted the teacher who admitted to writing the tweet.

Reeder said after a one-day investigation, where district leaders spoke to students, the teacher was suspended without pay for 13 days. Reeder said that penalty is just one day short of the maximum allowed by law. The teacher was also given a “last chance agreement,” meaning if she does one more thing wrong, she will be dismissed.

The teacher — a self-described 17-year veteran of the district — does not have a history of disciplinary problems. Reeder said the teacher had one other issue with the district two years ago that involved an inappropriate email to staff, but that incident did not involve students.

“We said, ‘This has to stop,’” Reeder said. “This one involved a student and students deserve to have their privacy. And staff, whether it’s me or a teacher or a custodian, should never be talking about students. They should not be talking about students in general or [individually].”

Reeder said the teacher did express remorse for having sent out the tweet. He said she asked what she could do to make the situation better.

“I appreciate that the teacher took full ownership of it and understands that but there is consequences to it,” Reeder said. “She’s being punished because as a teacher, we cannot do that. As a public figure that has the right to see things as would a medical doctor, as would a lawyer, we’re held not only to a different standard the way we live, but where we are privileged to have information, we have that information to make children — to help adults — move forward not to cause other issues. And in this case, there were other issues.”

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