Should you get fired for complaining about work on Facebook?

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If so, then many people I know would be canned. But for this transgression and other Facebook snafus, several Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are in trouble. As NewsChannel 36 reported, publicly accessible Facebook pages show statements from teachers such as these: "I hate my students," "I teach chitlins," and "I work in the ghetto of Charlotte." Other pics show teachers drinking and posing in sexually suggestive ways.

Now, it's hard to defend teachers who demean their students, especially in such stereotyped, racist terms. They should be reprimanded, and if such statements are indicative of how they generally feel, they shouldn't be allowed in the classroom. (Perhaps they should be fired for idiocy — they could have easily kept their Facebook profiles private.) But how far is too far? One commenter on the WCNC Web site found at least one profile for a station employee with less-than-professional content. Should that TV staffer be disciplined? (Perhaps she too should learn more about Facebook's privacy features.)

Perhaps we should have more realistic ideas of what teachers' personal lives — yes, they drink, have sex and act silly, just like everyone else. Then again, they can easily show some discretion and keep their profiles private — just like other people already do.

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