“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Wednesday I reported on the new social media policy that the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) have implemented. Secondly I inquired as to whether APS will hold their teachers accountable for any unhinged social media comments…apparently asking questions and re-posting unhinged tweets from an APS teacher (allegedly Lauren McDougall a teacher at El Dorado High School) is really bad…so bad that APS school board member Kathy Korte claimed she was “reporting [me] to the APS Police Department”. Ummm…seriously?! I wonder what kind of “police department” APS has…please don’t tell me that “police force” is run by Twitter trolls!
I guess Korte does have a history of saying crazy things and defending awkward positions. Korte once referred to an elementary school student she had never met as a “jerk”, then she returned a campaign mailer to a legislator calling him a “traitor” and most recently she called me a “witch”, then deleted the comment…but how could simply reporting Twitter posts by her ally maker her so angry?!
The new APS social media standards are interpreted to mean, “if you wouldn’t say it in person don’t say it online” according to KRQE. Should the Angry Teacher Twitter account be investigated by APS?!
These are just a few tweets that I find troubling. John Robertson of the Albuquerque Journal wrote about even more of the unhinged tweets in January:
“Excited to have my little sister join me in the Capitol today (Big Brothers, Big Sisters day)! Happy to be a part of such a great program,” Skandera tweeted.
Fourteen minutes later, someone identified as @AngryNMTeacher, tweeted a response, attaching it to Skandera’s cheery note.
“Are you teaching her to lie to our citizens or ignore research, teachers, and parents like you do?” asked @AngryNMTeacher.
My point is not to defend Skandera’s policies, so intensely opposed by many educators. I’m just here to say that lack of respect, or hate, doesn’t help advance or resolve any debate.
My argument is that you have to bury the hatchets somewhere, that respect has to be given wherever possible, in order for debate to proceed and resolutions to be reached. Otherwise, it’s just Hatfields and McCoys, just a gang war.
And look at who gets caught in the crossfire. I can only hope that Hanna Skandera’s “little sister” didn’t see the tweet from @AngryNMTeacher.
I know it’s only a tweet. But tweeting clearly has become an element of public discourse, available for anyone to see.
While it’s fine for any teacher to voice her disagreement and opinion in a respectful manner, the attacks we see coming out of this particular Twitter account (AngryNMTeacher) are disparaging, disrespectful and down-right rude. Ultimately, it appears to be against the “if you wouldn’t say it in person don’t say it online” policy at APS.
At the end of the day, we all have free speech rights, but not to the point of breaking employers rules and making constant unhinged comments. I’ve never hidden my online activism from any employer or violated a rule or policy they laid out. Angry people like this Angry Teacher person look like maniacs– is that the kind of person who should be teaching kids in our school system? What kind of an example is this Angry Teacher being to her students?! Should APS investigate?!