Teachers Who Mock Students’ Disabilities On Facebook Are In The Wrong Line Of Work
Being without a job is a terrible situation that makes all other situations exponenentially worse for oneself and one’s family, therefore there are very, very few situations in the world in which I think a person should be fired. In most cases I shrug and smile generously and say, “Well, maybe that person should get a gentle talking-to. Surely they can be made to understand the severity of the situation…”
But a Georgia teacher was recently caught mocking a student’s learning disabilities on Facebook, and I am just full of nopes in that case. Blow off steam if you must, but if you find yourself posting publicly about what a lame-ass failure your learning disabled student is, you were in the wrong line of work and your subsequent firing is just the situation correcting itself, because you probably shouldn’t have been teaching to begin with.
According to Scary Mommy, Georgia teacher Jennifer Lynch teaches Latin in the Fulton County Schools. On the last day before winter break, she was understandably anxious to get out and get her vacation started, but first she had to wait for one student to finish his exam. The student was allowed extra time because of a learning disability, and that appeared to frustrate Lynch even more.
“Ugh, thanks a lot, kid, for finally coming to finish your effin’ final more than THREE HOURS after school let out and almost TWO HOURS after the principal said teachers could leave,” Lynch posted to Facebook.
Then she just kept updating.
“To make it worse he’s giving regular updates on how many questions he has left. And I’m over here like: [Meme that says “Look at all the fucks I don’t give. They’re falling from the sky!]”
This actually makes me really sad. The fact that this kid is updating the teacher on how many questions he has left seems to indicate that he knows he’s holding the teacher up and he knows he’s the last kid in the building before break. I’ve been that last kid stuck in the room with the teacher, holding up everything because a task is taking you longer than it took everyone else and you don’t know why you’re so much slower than everybody else, but you’re really trying. It really sucks.
“He has some (expletive) disorder: one of those ‘we don’t know what his disorder is and we don’t want him to be labeled, so we are not going to find out, but we want academic accommodations anyway’ disorders. So anyway, he gets an extra hour for each final. But, instead of spreading those hours out over three days of finals… he decided to finish all six on Friday afternoon.”
It’s fair to think that he should have split those extra hours up over extra days, but this is a cruel and exceedingly unprofessional way to talk about a kid in public. Lynch really laid down the awfulness after the kid was finally gone, too.
“On the way out, he says, ‘isn’t it funny? I’ll be the last student to walk through the doors of JCHS in 2015.’ No, that’s not funny. That’s tragic. Your life is tragic. Everything about you is tragic. You’re Romeo and Juliet. I want to be sad for you, but at the end of the day, we’re all better that you’re not around.”
Jesus fucking Christ, lady. Who writes this about a kid? And she posted it on Facebook where people could see it, and at least some of those people certainly knew what kid she was talking about. My heart aches for this kid–in large part because I’ve been in his shoes and it really sucks to be the one kid who takes longer than everyone else and you don’t know what you’re doing wrong or what everyone else is doing better than you. And it sounds like this kid was trying really hard to be friendly and nice to the teacher because he knew she was being put out. But she didn’t deserve the friendly overtures, because she couldn’t suck up her frustration and instead wound up posting asshole status updates like a jerk.
Lynch’s school district does not even have a social media policy and doesn’t monitor staff Internet profiles, but these comments were so egregious that they got to administrators’ ears before school was even back in session. Lynch resigned her position after being called out for the posts, and the district says it does not have a social media policy, but it does have standards of professional conduct, with which Lynch’s posts were not in accord.
“We are appalled at the social media posts and the disrespect shown to a student. Ms. Lynch… decided to resign her position and is no longer employed by Fulton County Schools. FCS does not monitor the personal social media of our staff but employees are accountable for the use of good judgement.”
Hopefully Lynch will find herself a new job soon, preferably something that does not involve patience or kids.
(Photo: iStockPhoto/Getty Images)