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Did her MySpace photo derail teacher's career?

By Layer 8 on Thu, 04/26/07 - 6:41pm.

This is one of those disturbing stories because really, it could happen to way too many people. According to the Smoking Gun site a woman in Pennsylvania is suing Millersville University claiming that her teaching career has been derailed by college administrators who unfairly disciplined her over a MySpace photo that shows her wearing a pirate hat and drinking from a plastic cup.

The photo was captioned: Drunken Pirate. Frankly the picture's description is worse than the picture if you ask me. Now I know if you're going to be a teacher or a pilot or a taxi driver or whatever, you shouldn't promote drunkenness on your Website. OTHER PEOPLE READ THEM, LIKE EMPLOYERS. Still, sometimes people need to put things in context or at least match the penalty with the severity of the infraction. (I know, what color is the sky in my world).

Anyway according to the Smoking Gun, Stacy Snyder in a Federal lawsuit says the Millersville University officials accused her of promoting underage drinking after they discovered her MySpace photo last May, while she was a senior working as a student-teacher at Conestoga Valley High School.

A university official told her that the photo was "unprofessional" and could have offended her students if they accessed her MySpace page. At the time the "Drunken Pirate" photo was taken, Snyder was of legal age to drink, though her lawsuit notes that the photo "does not show the cup's contents."

In a nutshell, despite good grades and solid performance evaluations, Snyder claims that school officials improperly denied her a bachelor of science in education degree and a teaching certificate. The university instead granted her a Bachelor of Arts degree last May, but because the school refuses to confirm that she satisfactorily completed her student teaching requirements, Snyder claims that she has been unable to secure certification from Pennsylvania's Department of Education, the Smoking Gun says.

So far there's been no response from the university. So, if this case is true did the school go too far? What do you think?