Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Whole World Wide Web is Watching!

It is people like this that brought about ID10T. What are people thinking? This is an article NEA sent out in a recent online newsletter. It is pretty long, but then again there are that many idiots out there!
The Whole World (Wide Web) is Watching
Cautionary tales from the 'what-were-you-thinking' department.
Way back in 1974, California teacher and aspiring actor Lou Zivkovich famously was fired for posing nude in Playgirl magazine. His response, as reported by Newsweek, "I didn't murder anyone."
Nowadays, thanks to advances in technology, you don't even need a major publisher to get fired; just post your racy photos, sexually graphic writings, or wild party stories on a personal Web blog. You'll be amazed by how quickly tech-savvy students can disseminate your postings to their friends and your employer.
Here's a roundup of some of the recent horror stories:
In Virginia, high school art teacher Stephen Murmer was fired after posting photos of his "butt art" on the Web, which were viewed by scores of students. The budding artist applied paint to his posterior and genitalia, which he then pressed onto canvases. With the help of the ACLU, he sued the school district last fall claiming a violation of his First Amendment rights.
Band director Scott Davis from Broward County, Florida, was dismissed after school officials viewed his MySpace profile that included his musings about sex, drugs, and depression.
A Colorado English teacher lost her job after composing and posting sexually explicit poetry on her MySpace site. Police were even called in to investigate.
Nashville teacher Margaret Thompson was removed from teaching after posting "racy pictures" of herself, along with candid photos of her students, on her MySpace profile.
Florida middle school teacher John Bush was terminated because of "offensive" and "unacceptable " photos and information on his MySpace page.
Massachusetts teaching assistant and Massachusetts Teachers Association member Keath Driscoll was first suspended and then fired for his MySpace postings including "sexually suggestive" photographs, videos of drinking alcohol, and references to women as "whores." MTA took his case to arbitration and won almost a complete victory. In a decision dated March 24, 2008, the arbitrator ruled that Driscoll should not have been fired and ordered him reinstated with back pay, seniority, and benefits. The arbitrator did conclude, however, that Driscoll had engaged in misconduct that warranted some form of discipline, which he determined to be a three-day suspension.]
But the clueless award goes to Atlanta-area high school football coach Donald Shockley, who was forced to resign in early 2008 for storing on his school computer photos of his assistant principal dressed in lingerie and posing in sexually suggestive ways. The photos were discovered by a student whom Shockley had asked to work on his computer and who then posted the photos on the Internet and sent them to other students at the school.
In October 2007, reporters for The Columbus Dispatch conducted an investigation of MySpace profiles posted by Ohio teachers. The newspaper quoted one 25-year-old teacher bragging that she's "an aggressive freak in bed," "sexy," and "an outstanding kisser." Another teacher wrote on her page that she had recently "gotten drunk," "taken drugs," and "gone skinny-dipping."
In the wake of these reports, the Ohio Education Association urged all OEA members to remove any personal profiles they may have posted on MySpace or Facebook. The Association also warned members that such profiles "can be used as evidence in disciplinary proceedings," which could "affect not only a teacher's current job but his/her teaching license" as well.
But what about free speech? Don't school employees have the right, on their own time, to blog about their private lives without fear of losing their jobs? Probably not.
It's the general rule that school employees can be disciplined for off-duty conduct if the school district can show that the conduct had an adverse impact on the school or the teacher's ability to teach. And it wouldn't be too difficult to make that showing if the teacher's blog includes sexually explicit or other inappropriate content and is widely viewed by students.
As to a possible free speech claim, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that it was not a violation of the First Amendment for the City of San Diego to fire a police officer for posting a sexually explicit video of himself on the Internet. The unanimous Court said that such speech was "detrimental to the mission and functions of the employer."
And last year, a U.S. District Court ruled that a Connecticut school district's decision to fire a probationary teacher because of his postings to his MySpace page did not violate the teacher's First Amendments rights. The court called the online exchanges between the teacher and his students "inappropriate" and added that "such conduct could very well disrupt the learning atmosphere of the school."
There's an old lawyer's saw that goes something like this:
Never put in writing anything that you wouldn't want read in open court or by your mother.
Maybe it's time for an updated adage:
Never put in electronic form anything that you wouldn't want viewed by a million people, including your colleagues, students, and supervisors-and your mother.
Michael D. Simpson
NEA Office of General Counsel
Can you believe these people!? Problem: I D 10 T!

Footnote to the Lesson Plans

Lesson plans are completed. A bunch of us complained but were told if asked, the Math Department can say they are in place for those who need them. Ok, I can see that. They are optional, not required; at this time anyway. With the way things change, who knows what they will be saying in the next day, week, or month. But now I can concentrate on other things on the weekends and upcoming Spring Break; like a "social life"!

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Aching Feet!!!

I wore heels today. Why is that noteworthy? I NEVER wear heels! The last time I wore heels was probably a wedding about ten years ago. I just threw those heels away last summer; they were crumbling inside; a little old I guess; Etienne Aigner though! Anyway, I digress. I wore heels today because I have two pairs of pants I don't wear often because I have to "tape" up the hems to wear them. Yes, tape up the hems; both masking tape and scotch tape work great; masking tape a little better on some materials. I tape the hems, so I can wear shoes with heels of different heights. Well, that is what I have been telling myself for a year, so I finally decided to do something about the "different heights". I was at Macy's recently and found a pair of heels I liked. As you can see, not too high (or so I thought until today!), not stiletto, no pointed toes, nothing to make a fashion statement, very tame; what I thought would be just right. NOT! The shoes are comfortable, just shouldn't be worn all day on feet that have worn flats for 30 years. I work in a building with two floors and of course today had to be the day I was running back and forth between floors. OUCH! Could not wait to get those babies off and run around barefoot! I stopped and bought some Dr. Scholl's gel inner soles on the way home; put them in right away. So the next time I lose my mind and decide to wear heels, I will be 'gellin'! However, it is almost sandal season, so these heels will have to wait for another season; boxed and pushed to the back of the closet!
Don't know how people do it. My feet are still feeling the pain!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Facebook has a new look. I don't like it. It shows your posts for all to see and vice versa. "Make sure to stay updated on what the friends you care about are doing." "The stream shows you all the posts from your friends in real-time. This keeps you up to date on everything that's happening." I emailed them; told them I enjoyed my friends but didn't want to be in their space all the time, nor have them in mine all the time. This was their response:
Thanks for your feedback about the new Home page. We’re constantly trying to improve Facebook, so it's important that we hear from our users. Unfortunately, we can’t write individual responses to each of these emails, but we are reading them. We hope these changes make the site even more useful for you. If there are any specific changes you recommend, please let us know.
Thanks again for your feedback.
-The Facebook Team"
Pretty much a form letter; there was a little more with sites to contact them. NOT! Already did that!
I like Facebook. I like going on and getting posts from people I see on a regular basis, as well as from people I rarely, and people who live far away. I have been able to catch up with friends I grew up with. However, we don't need to be in real-time and know what everyone is up to all at the same time. One friend dropped out of Facebook because "they have invaded her personal space and invited everyone in she writes to!" Just because we are friends, we don't need to know 24/7 what we are all up to. TMI

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Ok, I am sitting here, setting up a blog, editing the picture, font, colors. And what should I be doing? I am supposed to be working on writing Math lesson plans for 1st Grade. Now I am a Math Coach. Love my job. Have two schools, like both of them, but don't feel I am doing either justice only spending two days a week at each school. Fridays could find me at one or the other or at meetings. We have been told we have to write lesson plans for the grade levels because the powers that be are not seeing what they want to see. Hmmm ... written lesson plans are going to change that!? I have 10 lesson plans to write, not a hard feat, but considering all I am doing is taking what is in the book and putting in on a lesson plan form seems to be a waste of my time. We were informed by email, sent to the principals, copied to us, we could use our planning time or 2:15-3:15 to write them. So, when do I spend my time working on them - at home after school, or on weekends. One principal jokes with me when she sees me, "So, writing lesson plans I see." This is it, here's my last attempt to get back to writing Math lesson plans! I will leave the blog for another day.

The Birth of a Blog

Computer trouble!
I was having trouble with my computer. So I called Richard, the 11 year old next door whose bedroom looks like Mission Control, and asked him to come over. Richard clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. As he was walking away, I called after him, "So, what was wrong?" He replied, "It was an ID ten T error." I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, "An ID ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again." Richard grinned. "Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?'' "No," I replied. "Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out. "So I wrote down:
I D 1 0 T. I used to like the little shit. (author unknown)

I received this email from a friend recently but had heard a story along this line about five years ago at a Reading First conference. After four days of this conference, this is what I came away with remembering! Maybe it was because it was the second summer attending this conference. Thought it would make a great title for something some day.
Aren't blogs great!
We have all been there, know people who have been there, or see people daily who are there!