My parents gave their children many lessons while we were growing up, but two of them stick out the most to me; the first was to be happy, because, in the end, that’s all you really get in life, and the second was to think before you speak … meaning, say what you will, but know what you’re saying.
I’ve tried to follow those two tenets as I navigate through life, and there are times when I am successful, and times when I fuc — make a mistake.
Jane Wood Allen, a schoolteacher, well, at one time a schoolteacher, should have learned that lesson.
See, Wood Allen took to Facebook to parade her blatant racism in a post about First Lady Michelle Obama, saying:
“This poor Gorilla. How is she going to function in the real world, by not having all of her luxurious vacations paid for anymore? She needs to focus on getting a total make-over (especially the hair), instead of planning vacations! She is a disgrace to America!”
Yup, she teaches children. Luckily, though, the school was notified of the posts and confirmed they were related to an employee in the Forsyth County school district:
“We have and will continue to address this issue with the employee on Monday. Racism and discrimination are not tolerated in Forsyth County Schools.” — Forsyth County Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo
But this isn’t the first time an employee in that school district has faced disciplinary action for some questionable social media behavior. Earlier this year, Lambert High School principal Gary Davison was placed on leave for sharing some Islamophobic memes on Facebook. But Lambert may have been lucky, and Wood Allen not so much. Yesterday morning Forsyth County Schools announced Monday morning that Allen had been “relieved from duty.”
Here’s my deal: you can believe whatever you want, and you can say whatever you want, but you need to take ownership of it when it goes out into the interwebz.
I mean, you choose to say ugly things about the First Lady, go ahead and do it … in your home, in private; but when you take it online it’s out for everyone to see … especially your bosses, and even the children at the school where you used to teach.
Think before you speak, Tweet, update, Instagram, whatever … and then maybe choose not to speak, Tweet, update, Instagram, whatever.