Friday, June 12, 2015

Elementary School Teacher Fired Over McKinney Facebook Post

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 4:16 PM

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Karen Fitzgibbons, a teacher at Bennett Elementary School in Lubbock was fired this week as the result of a post on her personal Facebook page. Fitzgibbons stated that she was highly emotional after she heard t he news that former police corporal Eric Casebolt resigned after the pool party incident in McKinney, Texas when she posted:

"This makes me ANGRY! This officer should not have to resign. I'm going to just go ahead and say it...the blacks are the ones causing the problems and this "racial tension." I guess that's what happens when you flunk out of school and have no education. I'm sure their parents are just as guilty for not knowing what their kids were doing; or knew it and didn't care. I'm almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town so they can hurt each other and leave the innocent people alone. Maybe the 50s and 60s were really on to something. Now, let the bashing of my true and honest opinion begin...GO! #imnotreacist #imsickofthemcausingtrouble #itwasagatedcommunity"

According to Fitzgibbons LinkedIn, she's worked for Bennett Elementary since 1999. After the post went viral, Fitzgibbon issued an apology but the damage was already done. Frenship ISD issued the following statement later the same day:

"On Wednesday afternoon, Frenship Independent School District was made aware of a statement posted on a Facebook page by a Frenship ISD employee earlier this week.

Frenship ISD is deeply disappointed in the thoughtlessness conveyed by this employee's post. We find these statements to be extremely offensive, insensitive, and disrespectful to our Frenship community and citizens everywhere. These comments in no way represent the educational environment we have created for our students.

The employee whose account is responsible for the post will be relieved of her teaching duties at Frenship ISD.

We hold our employees responsible for their public conduct even when they are not on active duty as district employees. Employees are held to the same professional standards in their public use of electronic media as they are for any other public conduct. This recent conduct was unacceptable.

Frenship ISD hopes communities, parents and students understand that these remarks do not reflect the views of our district, teachers and staff."
Fitzgibbon's post appears to be in violation of the FISD Employee Handbook that regulates Employee Personal Use of Electronic Media which states: 

"As role models for the district's students, employees are responsible for their public conduct even when they are not acting as district employees. Employees will be held to the same professional standards in their public use of electronic media as they are for any other public conduct. If an employee's use of electronic media interferes with the employee's ability to effectively perform his or her job duties, the employee is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment."


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