Teacher suspended for alleged 'future criminals' Facebook post

A first-grade teacher in New Jersey is suspended after allegedly referring to her class as "future criminals" on Facebook.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

It seems only last week that a teacher of young minds was threatened with legal action for mocking one of her class on Facebook.

Because it was only last week. Yes, this Chicago elementary school educator was upbraided for allegedly laughing at a little girl's Jolly Rancher hair.

But now there is news that another teacher--this time in Paterson, N.J.-- has been suspended for allegedly calling her first-grade class "future criminals" on Facebook.

Some might think this less of an insult than, for example, calling them "future cast members of Jersey Shore."

However, in a story by the Record of New Jersey, we learn that a "significant number" of parents read her Facebook musings Wednesday and were not amused.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

School Board President Theodore Best told the Record: "The reason why she was suspended was because the incident created serious problems at the school that impeded the functioning of the building."

Who can argue against the functioning of buildings?

But you might still be wondering what else this teacher is alleged to have written. Well, all she is said to have declared is that she was tired of being a "warden" to these "future criminals."

I know that there will be many who will weigh in with a theory about whether you can spot a future arsonist or larcenist at age 6.

But the teacher's lawyer, Nancy Oxfeld, told The New York Times that this suspension smacked of overly extended noses: "My feeling is that if you're concerned about children, you're concerned about what goes on in the classroom, not about policing your employee's private comments to others."

This would have been so clear and simple in the days before the web of Facebook. It seems, though, that this teacher was one of the very many who aren't entirely au fait with their privacy settings.

However, perhaps postings such as these are slightly indicative of a desperate education system that is cracking like a Southwest Airlines 737.

In February, for example, a Pennsylvania teacher was suspended after blogging that her students were "whiny, simpering grade-grubber with an unrealistically high perception of own ability level."

Are these indiscreet teachers among the less able in their profession? Or might they be those whose frustration boils to such a temperature that they choose a modern--if injudicious--medium in which to express themselves?