CHARLESTOWN, N.H. – A 79-year-old substitute teacher quit her job after school leaders ordered her to delete thousands of students she had friended on Facebook.
Carol Thebarge refused, according to The New Hampshire Union Leader.
“Today will be my last day at Stevens High,” Thebarge said, in a Facebook announcement. “I was given an ultimatum; to either delete every student from my Facebook page and do not post pictures of them, or be terminated.”
Thebarge has been a substitute teacher for the past 35 years, working at 32 different schools.
Thebarge said school officials gave her the ultimatum after a math teacher was recently charged with sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl in his classroom.
She said she started deleting students, but stopped after about 50 when she had students start asking her what they did wrong. Thebarge said some students have seen her Facebook page as a place where they can send private messages about being bullied or feeling depressed.
School Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin said that Claremont School Board policy bans teachers from being “friends” with students on social networking sites such as Facebook.