When employees get fired for social media activity, it’s usually for writing certain kinds of material. Stuff like racial slurs, homophobic rants, and joking about shooting people. Did we mention the racial slurs? Then there’s Kate Nash, a former social media coordinator for Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland. She got fired after correcting a student’s spelling.
This is how it happened, according to a WJZ report. Weather forecasts for Jan. 5 were looking pretty bad, so one student just wanted the day off. The kid wrote to FCPS’ twitter account:
close school tammarow [sic] PLEASE”.
Nash told the outlet that’s when she replied with this now-deleted message using the district’s account:
but then how would you learn how to spell “tomorrow”? 🙂
Nash told the outlet she didn’t mean anything disrespectful by it. She was just trying to be funny, and it was actually part of a sort-of rebranding attempt on behalf of the school.
“We had received feedback from some students in a focus group that our tweeting was a bit flat,” she told WHAG. “They were looking for some more engagement. They were looking for us to tweet back at them and I really took that to heart because I know that I am a little bit older and maybe not as hip as some of the students are, so I took that to heart and I took that feedback in.”
But she said this tweet resulted in a four-minute meeting with her supervisors. That ended with her losing her job on Friday, she said, and provided the outlet with a letter from the school district.
Dear Katie, this letter confirms our discussion today that your probation period as a Web Experience Coordinator for Frederick County Public Schools will not be extended. You will be terminated from your assignment effective January 13, 2017.
Michael Doerrer, the FCSD communications director, reportedly went as far as to apologize to the student for the tweet.
When WHAG reached him for comment, he declined to comment except to confirm that Nash no longer works with them. He said he couldn’t say more since this is a personnel matter.
[Screengrab via WHAG]