Teacher fired for refusing to unfriend students on Facebook - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Teacher fired for refusing to unfriend students on Facebook

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CLAREMONT, N.H. -

A popular elderly teacher in New Hampshire has found herself unemployed because of social media.

79-year-old Carol Thebarge had been substituting at Stevens High School's for nine years, but was fired after violating the school's policy of friending students on social media.

She had over 250 students as friends on Facebook.

When she was confronted by the school about this, she was given an ultimatum to either unfriend them or be terminated. Thebarge chose the latter and students are outraged and protesting the school's decision.

"She wasn't harming anybody,” says student Kayla Jennison. “She was a great person and she always helps us. She cared."

"There's a paranoia about the Internet and I think that we're not realizing how valuable Facebook can be used properly,” says Thebarge.

There is also a petition circulating for Thebarge to get her job back.

But the substitute teacher says even if they offered her the job back, she wouldn't take it.

Dr. Middleton McGoodwin, the school system’s superintendent, says the policy was meant to prevent any boundaries from being crossed.

"Facebook is a wonderful communication tool among friends,” said Dr. McGoodwin. “But teachers are not students' friends. She's a wonderful lady and she's loved by many, but that doesn't give you allowance to ignore a protocol designed to protect all."

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