A teacher’s aide at a Georgia elementary school has been fired after posts she wrote on Facebook surfaced last week, enraging community members and people across the country who saw her words shared widely online.
In them, the aide, Jane Wood Allen, called first lady Michelle Obama a “gorilla” repeatedly and said she is a “disgrace to America!” according to images of the now-deleted posts obtained by local media.
Many Facebook users immediately called for her termination and used the hashtag #FireJaneWoodAllen. “I am disgusted that this woman is an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL EMPLOYEE,” one woman wrote on Facebook. “Please if you’re sickened by this like I am email the superintendent and file a complaint!”
On Monday, the district announced the aide had been “relieved from duty and is no longer an employee of Forsyth County Schools.”
Allen worked as a paraprofessional, or teacher’s aide, at Chestatee Elementary School in Gainesville, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The school is part of a majority white district, data shows, with black students making up just 3.15 percent of the student body.
Can or should your employer use comments made on Facebook and other social media against you professionally? Should this woman sue? Is it a first amendment issue?
First of all, I think her remarks were hideous. I like Michelle Obama and think she is a fine first lady. I would like for her to be fired. However, she works for a government agency–Forsyth County Schools. Is that the government controlling your speech?
How about blogs? Can what you say on blogs be used against you by your employer?
I vote for firing the woman. Free speech isn’t free. She was offensive, she represents the county and she influences children.