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Apalachee High teacher resigns over Facebook incident

Facebook can be dangerous for teachers, Payne's case demonstrates.
Facebook can be dangerous for teachers, Payne's case demonstrates.
Zsuzsanna Kilian, SXC

Apalachee High School teacher Ashley Payne recently resigned in a controversy over her Facebook page. The teacher had posted pictures from her summer trip to Europe, a handful of which portrayed her drinking alcohol, and a status that she was going to play “Crazy Bitch Bingo,” a weekly event held at a restaurant in Midtown.

Payne believed her Facebook page was private. The controversy began when the Barrow County superintendent received an anonymous email allegedly from a parent of a student who saw Payne’s Facebook page.

Payne maintains that she had never interacted with students or parents on Facebook, and according to her privacy settings, only her Facebook friends could access her page. Some people, pointing out that the tone and syntax of the email is more consistent with that of a professional educator, have suggested that the anonymous email was sent by a jealous coworker.

Barrow County does not know who sent the email.

Payne and Apalachee principle David McGee also disagree over her resignation, which Payne claims was forced. Payne is currently suing to regain her teaching position.

Of the 700 pictures Payne posted from her trip, only 10 contained alcohol.

Payne graduated from the University of Georgia in 2007 and has taught at Apalachee for two years. 


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