Long-time substitute teacher told to "unfriend" students on Facebook
CHARLESTOWN, N.H. -
Carol Thebarge, a long-time substitute teacher, is out of work after she was told she couldn't be friends with students on Facebook.
Affectionately known as Mrs. T, Thebarge is 79 years old. She taught for nine years at Stevens High School in Claremont, New Hampshire and has been in the education field for 35 years. She's friends with about 250 current students on her Facebook page. School policy prohibits that and she was told to ‘unfriend' them.
"They gave me an ultimatum–either take them all off or you are terminated," said Thebarge. "And I decided that I would not comply and so I was terminated. And it's caused a firestorm across the entire area."
The superintendent,Dr. Middleton McGoodwin, says the policy is in place to prevent any boundaries from being crossed.
Dr. McGoodwin said while the Internet is a wonderful tool, teachers are not students' friends.
At school, some students decided to picket to get Thebarge her job back but not everyone is siding with the teacher.
One person posted on Facebook, "Rules are rules and while her intentions MIGHT be good, I am sure parents don't want male teachers friending their 14/15 year old daughters on Facebook!"
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