• Sun, Feb 3 2013

Surprise, Surprise – Teacher Suspended For Posting Half-Naked Pictures On Twitter Is Backed By Students

Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 8.55.08 AMIs there a heterosexual teenage boy in existence who wouldn’t support his young, attractive teacher disrobing on social media? I don’t think so. That’s why I am not surprised there is a huge movement on Twitter in support of Carly McKinney – the teacher who posted semi-nude pictures on Twitter and was put on paid leave.

The 23-year-old teacher created an account and went by the name “Crunk Bear.” In addition to posting semi-nude photos, she also posted pictures of herself smoking what looks like marijuana and joked about having drugs on school grounds and being high while grading papers. When will people learn that a public Twitter page is public? This woman is way too stupid to be teaching our youth.

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Her page has since been closed, so this group of photos was pulled off a students Twitter page.  I’m not a prude, but I don’t want this woman teaching my teenagers anything. Not because she has fantastic abs or a pretty smile, but because she is too dense to realize that posting pictures of herself doing a handstand in a g-string and smoking marijuana might get her fired.

Students have taken to Twitter in support of the teacher, using the hashtags #freecrunkbear and #expressyourself.  A fake page has spawned from her account – and it has 25,000 followers. It’s pretty confusing, because although news reports claim her original page is closed, all of her original page’s photos exist on this new account. Someone posing as her is now posting pics in lingerie and tweeting things a la “what would Crunk Bear do?”

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It’s really not surprising that students everywhere are supporting her plight. A half-naked, weed smoking, young teacher would be the coolest thing, ever. When I was in high school we used to have a photography teacher that would let students get stoned in the darkroom. Had social media existed, I’m sure the same kind of Twitter movement would have happened in his honor had he been put on leave.

That’s the thing about teenagers – sometimes they don’t have the best judgement. They aren’t looking at this woman thinking, “Oh my God. What a pathetic loser.” That’s why they need to be guided by those who have the common sense to keep their g-strings and drug habits to themselves.

Something tells me this woman won’t be getting her job back.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

    /facepalm
    The pictures don’t phase me but someone dumb enough to take pictures of an illegal activity (smoking pot) and post them publicly probably shouldn’t be a teacher. Also, talking about grading while stoned/drunk….yikes.

    • chickadee

      The pictures wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if they weren’t clearly linked to a Twitter profile that belongs to a public school teacher. Fair or not, one cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy on social media if you aren’t willing to protect your profile assiduously. If she were past her probationary period she might have a better chance of retaining her job, but the school has more firing leeway at this point.

      From a plain common-sense perspective, this girl’s lack of social media savvy and poor judgment casts serious shadows on her professional judgment, particularly when teaching at the high-school level.

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Guerrilla Mom

      Truer words were never spoken.

    • Tinyfaeri

      What possible effect on her teaching ability can a half naked picture have? All those boys just won’t be able to concentrate on math after seeing her abdomen? This is dangerously close to saying girls ever shouldn’t drink at parties because, well, you know, their lack of judgement and all… rather than dictate what someone does in her personal time, maybe we should try working on those boys’ maturity levels.
      And as has been pointed out, pot is not illegal in CO. So she didn’t break any laws, she was on her own time and in her own space. No students were involved in the pictures.
      While I find some of her tweets objectionable, the bottom line for me is that when people start being teachers they do not give up everything else that makes them them any more than we do when we become parents. They should still have a life outside school and as long as it does not directly affect their ability to teach, and there’s no evidence here that it did, it should be none of our business if they’re dancing naked in the street, stripping, doing pornos or posting crappy self portraits to Twitter. They may be our children’s teachers, but we don’t actually own them.

    • chickadee

      She exercised incredibly poor judgment and displayed a high level of immaturity. In her private life this is fine, as long as it is kept private. If she can’t distinguish between public and private, it calls into question her ability to be professional at work….and since one of her tweets mentioned that she brought pot to school, she does seem to have a problem keeping her personal and professional lives separate.

    • Tinyfaeri

      There is no evidence that she displayed that behavior in the classroom, regardless of what she posts online. Provided she isn’t hurting anyone or breaking a law outside the classroom (there is no evidence that she has), her behavior in the classroom should be what matters.
      As for bringing pot “to work” she tweeted that she had pot in her car in the parking lot. I once had several bottles of wine in my trunk (unopen, fresh from the liquor store) that I happened use that car to drive to work while the bottles of wine were in it. Is that unprofessional of me? Would that be unprofessional of a teacher?
      I’m not saying posting the pictures was smart, and I don’t really like all of the tweets mentioned in various articles, but a perceived lapse of judgement, provided no one was hurt by it, no laws were broken and no minors were involved, outside of your job shouldn’t lose you your job.

    • chickadee

      Bringing pot onto the campus may have violated her contract, and if so, that would be unprofessional. She was also informed when she was hired that all employees were expected to behave responsibly on social media, and they recommended that they not post anything online that they wouldn’t post on the blackboard. Although she was not representing the school when she did those things, the fact that she chose to make these images and statements (including one in which she said she was stoned while grading papers, which I would say does affect her teaching, and the students’ grades) public doesn’t speak well for her judgment.

      The lapse of judgment on her part reflects poorly on her abilities to determine how to behave in other situations. Including the classroom. She knew how the school expected teachers to behave on social media, and she apparently thought that they either didn’t apply to her or that she wouldn’t get caught. And how stupid is it to act like this during her probationary period? She doesn’t seem to have much of an idea about what being professional looks like. I don’t care what anyone gets up to in their spare time, but I hope that the people who educate my children are smart enough not to brag about it all over the internet.

    • Tinyfaeri

      LOL! So it’s the posting about it on Twitter that makes it bad, and is what means she shouldn’t be a teacher, not the doing it. That’s kind of hypocritical.
      And as far as the “I had pot in my car” and “I was grading stoned” crap… I mean, we all know that no one lies about anything or exaggerates anything to be funny on Twitter. They make you sign a contract and they have people on staff to verify all of your stories.

    • chickadee

      I knew the ‘h’ word was coming….no. She wasn’t doing anything illegal in the pictures, but what they do advertise is that she has no problem posting sexual content on the internet. If she did the same thing while concealing her identity, no one would care. Schools are, justifiably, concerned about their teachers’ abilities to make good decisions and good choices, since they act as an influence on students. Good judgment is indulging in adult activities without recording them and posting them on the internet. Good judgment is grading students’ papers while sober. And I think we can all agree that if she told lies on the internet, then she’s a public liar, too. Maybe it’s because my sister is a teacher and my husband and I both teach at the college level and I understand the institutions and what they expect from you, but—

      The schools make it pretty clear that you are expected to maintain authority and keep a professional distance from your students, particularly regarding the consumption of adult substances. It isn’t a law, but it is an expectation, and if you violate it, they think you don’t care overly much for the rules that you agreed to follow. Having a teaching position is a job, and if you do something that offends your employers, especially in the probationary period, you can lose that job.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Yes, because “Crunkbear” screams “Carly McKinney” to me. How blatant of her. I don’t care if she did porn under her real name, it doesn’t have anything to do with her ability to teach trig.
      No, we really can’t agree that if she “told lies on the internet, she tells them IRL” – the internet is rife with satire, sarcasm, and jokes between friends. With some of the comments floating around out there, I think we can all agree that a lot of the time, people certainly do not act the way they do online in real life.
      Teachers should be responsible for teaching. Of course they will have an influence, everyone a person meets can have some degree of influence, but the shaping of a child’s character is the responsibility of the parent. Maybe we should leave teachers to teach, and not expect them to act like saints (outwardly, anyway, you know, where it counts).

    • chickadee

      She tweeted a photo of herself at work wearing her school ID, which was visible in the picture. One of the reports (which I am trying to find) indicated that she used the account either to reply to a student or to retweet one of her students’ tweets.

      I am not going to argue with you — I agree that an adult is entitled to perform acts that are legal under the law. I also acknowledge that an employer is entitled to find certain acts detrimental to the performance of the employee’s job, particularly when that job involves working closely with minors.

      Judgement is an amorphous thing, especially when it comes to dealing with teenagers. While I agree that one’s private life does not necessarily dictate what one will do on the job, I also acknowledge that when one is indiscreet privately, it affects others’ perceptions of how you will perform professionally. This girl is learning that the hard way, which is a shame for her. I happen to agree that a person who can’t see that being indiscreet about her adult activities might lessen her authority in the classroom because she has presented herself as Crunk Bear probably isn’t mature enough to be teaching yet. I know you don’t agree.

    • Tinyfaeri

      To be fair, you don’t know anything about me, nor I you, because we’re two strangers commenting on a blog post.
      I don’t think any 23 year old is mature enough to teach high school students. Their brains and emotional selves are still developing, and will be for another year or two. They’re too close to the students both in age and developmentally, and can lack the necessary separation a teacher needs from his or her students because of that.
      I also don’t think this particular 23 year old deserves nearly the amount of anonymous hate, “righteous” indignation or judgement that she’s gotten from strangers who know nothing else about her outside a few tweets and pictures. She’s probably learning a lot more than she ever deserved to about how judgemental the whole world can be of one girl that they don’t even know and who works nowhere near their kids. I don’t care what she did at this point, she doesn’t deserve what she’s gotten from it. And all with no real proof of legal wrongdoing. I’m pretty sure one cannot be convicted in a real court based on tweets alone. Yet, anyway.
      But I am tired of arguing as well. I hope you have a good day.

    • chickadee

      I want to add only that I teach college students, and I am not comfortable with the statement that no 23-year-old is mature enough to teach high school students. Some are, some are not. This one is not.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Wine is not an illegal substance. Even though I agree that marijuana is horribly demonized, fact is, it’s still illegal.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Sigh. Not in CO it isn’t. But, I repeat:
      And as far as the “I had pot in my car” and “I was grading stoned” crap… I mean, we all know that no one lies about anything or exaggerates anything to be funny on Twitter…or ever uses sarcasm or satire on the internet. They make you sign a contract and they have people on staff to verify all of your stories.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Okay, I’ll give you that it isn’t illegal in CO, but were you broadcasting the fact that you had wine in your car? Sure, people exaggerate all the time online. I get that. And she probably was joking, but it was still very poor judgement. I agree that her personal life is her business. Completely. But she wasn’t keeping it HER business. She made it public and whether anyone likes it or not, it reflects poorly.

    • Amendment 64

      Pot is not illegal in CO.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      Federal laws are still on the books and can be enforced. I’m pro-legalization, but just because it’s legal in your state doesn’t mean you’re not breaking laws by toking up (right or wrong). Also, she’s in a car in that picture–I’m pretty sure smoking weed then driving, or giving your driver a contact high, are still illegal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alice.longworth.7 Alice Longworth

    I do wish that I looked that good, but if the price is that I have to be that stupid I’ll pass.

  • CG

    I know this is beside the point, but that is clearly not a g-string.

  • CrazyFor Kate

    Look, the teacher did something highly inappropriate, but you don’t know how good she was as a teacher or why the students are backing her. It might not be because she was “cool”, it might be because she was good at her job. Not a good enough excuse to have her keep her job, IMO, but the students have every right to support or oppose her – and I think they have a lot more room to say that than the media. You talk as if teenagers don’t have functioning brains of their own, and frankly, it’s off-putting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      They have a right to, but something tells me that a teacher who does this is likely more interested in being “cool” with the kids than in doing her job. I might be wrong, but I doubt it.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      Hey Courtney Lynn, I keep having a problem with Disqus where it informs me that responses I got months ago are new. Today I got that for three of your replies including this one. What I was wondering is a) does this happen to anyone else and b) did you make a change to your account or something that would make it do this. Just wondering :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Didn’t make any changes and it’s been happening to me, too. Disqus is wacky, at least that’s my conclusion. I’m glad it’s not just me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

    Younger teachers are supposed to be an example and professional. This woman is neither and still has a lot of growing up to do. She has no business being a teacher.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=603643882 Jeremy Kuehnau

    I can’t believe there are people actually defending her, it’s ridiculous. As an educator there are certain standards we expect them to uphold; which she is clearly not doing. She might be intelligent but she’s stupid. You either keep this kind of conduct to yourself or at least anonymous.

    The legality of the drugs she was using isn’t the point here; she is allowed to have a private life outside of work. The biggest problems I see here is her “joking” about having drugs on school property and smoking them on school grounds and grading student’s papers while under the influence.

    I don’t care what job you have, all of the above is totally unacceptable. Anywhere else you wouldn’t be given leave with paid, you’d be fired and walked out. It’s insane to think they are even giving her the slightest benefit of the doubt.

    Not to mention what kind of unseen effects this could have had on her students. Some of them will see her as a friend and not a teacher, others will see her as a dirty drug abusers, I am sure some of the females in class will think she’s some kind of web whore. Respect and productivity would bound to be lost here.

    I wouldn’t want this woman teaching my children if I had any. If I was a parent in that area I would demand she be terminated immediately or I’d be pulling my children out of that school.

  • Tinyfaeri

    Rather than using this as a prime opportunity to slut shame this young woman and call her stupid and all sorts of names based on some tweets (because we all know a handful of our tweets can be used to totally sum up our entire character), maybe this could be a teaching moment for parents.
    For all children, it’s a lesson that once you put something out there on the internet, everyone can see it, and it never goes away. We could also teach that sarcasm on the internet doesn’t transate very well.
    For boys, it could be a lesson that just because a woman takes her top off, posts naked pictures of herself online, or posts semi-naked pictures of herself online, that doesn’t mean she no longer deserves respect or that you should stop listening to anything coming out of her mouth. Eyes up here, and all that.
    For girls, it could be a lesson in exactly how cruel the internet can be, and how fast they can judge your whole self based on a few pictures and a few 140-or-less-character quips. If those pictures show skin, you will be labeled all sorts of things. Especially if you’re young, attractive and a teacher.
    Speaking of… for any young person that wants to be a teacher, it’s a good time to remind them that teachers are apparently held to higher standards by the general public than politicians (who run our country, decide our laws, etc), priests and preachers, policemen, firemen, doctors, lawyers and pretty much anyone and everyone else. Nevermind being able to teach something, the important thing is that, outwardly anyway, they are as close to saints as you can get without the miracles. Oh, wait, that’s a crappy thing to teach.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

    I honestly have no problem with nudity. If someone wants to show off their body let them.

    But even pretending to have drugs on school grounds is unacceptable.The title should read “Teacher Suspended For Posting Drug-Related Images on Twitter.”

  • Yves

    I don’t care if she does any of those things in her PRIVATE, free time. But hello, you can’t post that shit in public if you don’t want your employer to find them. Have a little discretion girlfriend. I don’t think she should be a teacher based on the fact that she seems incredibly stoooopid.

  • ActuallyTryingToHelp

    People who think that yelling about a teacher who actually tried to relate to her students and grab their attention in reasonable ways is a feasible facsimile for actually giving a shit about the education system, have clearly been so utterly failed by it that they can’t realize how far their ignorance spreads.
    tl;dr: A teacher that tries to relate to her students and grab their attention should be lauded for standing up to a broken system, not torn apart by close minded people such as yourself.