It has come to our attention recently that a great many of our teachers and staff have active accounts on Facebook. While we cannot specifically forbid our staff from maintaining Facebook accounts, we are hereby putting you on notice that you can be severely reprimanded and even terminated for comments and pictures deemed unbecoming for an Asheville Middle School instructor, or for comments and pictures on Facebook unbecoming for a person over the age of 30, regardless of the nature of your relationship with Asheville Middle School.
Case in point: Last week, Mary Jenkins, AMS’s seventh-grade Latin teacher, made some unfortunate comments on her Facebook page, which boasts over 345 friends. Pretty impressive, but only 16 of those were actual friends of Ms. Jenkins, and many of the other 329 were offended, alarmed, in some cases actually physically harmed or otherwise influenced to behave inappropriately while attending her classes or parent/teacher conferences.
Any faculty or staff who do insist on maintaining Facebook accounts are encouraged to join the “Asheville Middle School” network. There’s good people on that network, and you should check it out. Although the AMS mascot is the cougar, please do not join the “AMS cougarz” network, which is an unauthorized network of rogue teachers of a certain age, most of whom have retired from or been fired from AMS. Real classy gals.
Taking the opportunity, I would like to formalize what has been up to present a recognized but unwritten rule. Those joining the AMS network are required to “friend up” with the entire network, so that a rising tide may lift all boats. Mr. Carruthers over in the 8th-grade Language Arts department still has no friends, and not for lack of trying. Please join the AMS network, folks, and accept. Accept accept accept.
However, there will no tolerance in the AMS Facebook network for poking, throwing snowballs or inviting people to click on the magical bramble bush you built, thus helping you gain briars. This is a zero-tolerance policy, and the annoying things you do on Facebook, even on your own free time, will have real at-work ramifications. You know, we could use some help in the after-school program, if you’re looking for something to do.
Also, for the last time, you are still forbidden to contact 99-year-old females on MySpace. That practice has not been working out for this school district. Why do you think there is a staff shortage in the after-school program, people.
The School Board will be making its decision shortly about Mary Jenkins, and the Office of the Principal will keep all staff members abreast of the situation with Twitter updates.
Have a good holiday break, and we’ll see everyone in 2009, at the AMS staff New Year’s party, which is going to be straight off the hook, so nobody get fired before then. Go Cougars!
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