Saturday, November 14, 2009

Teacher Sues After Forced to Quit for Pics & "B-Word" on Facebook Profile

Beer, wine, and the “B-word.”

One Georgia teacher says that particular trifecta on her Facebook profile led to her forced resignation – and the resulting lawsuit she’s bringing against her former employer.

WSBTV out of Georgia reports that high school English teacher, Ashley Payne, claims the Barrow County (Georgia) school district forced her to resign because her Facebook profile included photos from her European vacation that showed beer mugs and glasses of wine. Shocking or inappropriate that an adult traveler who visited the Guinness Brewery might have a mug of beer? Or a glass of wine in Italy? Payne certainly didn’t think so. The “B-word” also appeared in one of her posts.

Payne said she didn’t look intoxicated, wasn’t doing anything provocative, and wasn’t acting inappropriate in any of the photos. In fact, she said the pictures didn’t even show her actually drinking the drinks (although, the news broadcast accompanying the station’s print story showed a photo of a woman holding a mug to her face). Payne restricts access to her Facebook page, and doesn’t “friend” students or strangers.

Payne claims the school principal called her into his office, and – citing the photos and expletive on her Facebook profile – advised her she should resign immediately to avoid suspension on her record. Payne said the principal claimed he’d already spoken with the superintendant, suggesting the decision was final.

In response, Payne filed suit against the school, saying the school violated state labor law because it failed to make her aware of her right to a hearing. 


  1. WOW- is that what this world is coming to? Sad, and if all the facts are as stated above... I hope she wins (big).

  2. This is very troubling. We should be careful what we post online. From the information, it appears the teacher did nothing wrong. She doesn't friend students, so I'm wondering how the school found out about the pictures. Its sad to think that w/ online access we could lose our right to a private life. Will be interesting to see the outcome of this case.