Rock Hill, S.C. teacher Sharon Aceta was placed on leave Friday after she posted a sarcastic and offensive statement about President Barack Obama on Facebook.
Aceta, who eighth grade math at Rawlinson Road Middle School, was evidently frustrated with Obama's reelection last Tuesday. According to WSOC-TV, the teacher wrote on Facebook:
"Congrats Obama. As one of my students sang down the hallway, 'We get to keep our fooood stamps'...which I pay for because they can't budget their money...and really, neither can you."
School spokesperson Elaine Baker told WSOC that while there have been a number of complaints about the post and that the teacher violated the district's social media policy, Aceta likely will not face disciplinary action beyond the one-day suspension.
Aceta has since apologized and deleted the status.
The incident in South Carolina is one of a number involving teachers' Facebook statuses following the election. A Columbus, Ohio teacher came under fire last week for taking to the social networking site to express disappointment in the election results, posting:
"Congrats to those dependent on government, homosexuals, potheads, JAY-Z fans, non Christians, non taxpayers, illegals, communists, Muslims, planned murder clinics, enemies of America, Satan You WON!"
District officials said they were investigating the case.
Similar problems with social media have affected communities across the country. In July, a Bradenton, Fla. parent found a Facebook discussion among teachers of G.D. Rogers Garden Elementary School in which one educator calls a student the "evolutionary link between orangutans and humans." Another teacher responded that the comment made her "laugh out loud."
Last year, a first grade teacher at Paterson School 21 in Paterson, N.J., was suspended after writing on Facebook that she felt like a "warden," and referred to students as future criminals. The school board said, however, that officials cannot remove a teacher there for what is said on Facebook and can only act if it spills over into the classroom.
And just weeks earlier in Doylestown, Pa., Central Bucks East High School English teacher Natalie Munroe was suspended for blogging about her students and referring to them as "disengaged, lazy whiners."
Munroe was reinstated at the school because she had a "legal right to her job," but was later fired for poor performance.
At least 40 school districts nationwide have adopted social media policies. From New York City to Missouri, districts are beginning to discipline teachers for inappropriate Facebook activity. But some educators point out that social media can be a beneficial learning and teaching resource if used properly.