Social media can get people in certain professions into big trouble. That’s especially for true for teachers or anyone who works with children. When they share too much on social media, it can cause problems with their school and could eventually lead to termination. A teacher from England learned that lesson the hard way following a suspension for pictures she posted online.
Lydia Ferguson, a 39-year-old mother of three, taught at Ousedale School, a secondary school in Newport Pagnell. Like many people, Ferguson had pictures on her social media accounts that flattered her.
One photo caught the attention of school administrators: In the picture, Ferguson sits on a bed with her legs open, yet the image does not reveal any sensitive parts of her body. There’s some leg in the shot, but that’s as risque as it gets.
In the comments on the picture, many people compliment her on how good she looks. When Ferguson asked her friends if it was too provocative, they assured her that it wasn’t. That was a relief to her because she didn’t want to share something that would reflect poorly on her or her family.
In the comments, she explained her standards for what she considered appropriate. She said, “If my Grandad, bless his heart, would look at any of my pictures in disgust, then I would never post them.” That seems to be a pretty reasonable standard, and it’s fair to say that her grandad would almost certainly have approved of the picture.
Administrators at the school, however, were not so approving. When they saw the picture, they pulled her from her class and had a meeting with her about her post. In the end, they escorted her off school grounds and suspended her.
Her students immediately rushed to Ferguson’s defense. They said she was a fantastic teacher who went out of her way to help students in need. In fact, she was a teacher that students came to when they had issues with bullying—she could get it to stop.
They started passing around a petition to get her reinstated, which generated 250 signatures almost immediately. All of the students who saw the picture in question felt there was nothing too revealing about the shot. They felt the treatment of their teacher was unfair.
Administrators at the school said the concerns of the students had “no factual basis.” They stuck by their position that the provocative picture warranted a suspension. In response, Ferguson officially quit her job and will not be returning to the school.
We think this is much ado about nothing. Ferguson looks beautiful in the picture, and it doesn’t seem like too much for a teacher to post. We’re sorry that the school lost a fantastic teacher over something so trivial. Hopefully, the administration apologizes, and this teacher can return to the students who clearly love her.