A New Jersey judge has ruled that tenured first-grade teacher Jennifer O'Brien, who works in an impoverished school district in Paterson, should lose her job after posting on her Facebook page last March: "I'm not a teacher - I'm a warden for future criminals."
The final decision now rests in the hands of the state education commissioner.
According to UPI.com, O'Brien said she posted the comment after a particularly frustrating day after being hit by one of her students. Although only meant for friends to see, the post quickly spread and word got back to the school.
"O'Brien has demonstrated a complete lack of sensitivity to the world in which her students live," Judge Ellen Bass said. "The sentiment that a 6-year-old will not rise above the criminal element that surrounds him cuts right to the bone. In a public education setting, thoughtless words can destroy the partnership between home and school that is essential to the mission of the schools."
According to The Record of Hackensack, O'Brien's attorney is planning to appeal the decision.
This is not the first time educators have landed themselves in hot water for postings on Facebook.
Just last month, a New Jersey high school teacher came under fire after she spoke out against the school's celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history month on Facebook, sparking a lengthy debate after she called homosexuality a "perversion."
In addition, an Alabama special education teacher sparked outrage when the mother of a student found his Facebook page filled with postings making fun of students for eating crayons and soiling themselves. In addition, he posted a picture of himself wearing one of his student's helmets.
"My son wears a helmet for seizures during PE," the student's mother told a local Fox News station. "He had a picture of himself with my son's helmet on making fun on him like that was some type of joke."