Heated discussions on social media can not only backfire, they can apparently also get you fired. Katie Nash, social media manager for Fredrick County Public School System in Maryland, learned this the hard way.
The school officials recently released Nash from her duties for correcting a student’s misspelled tweet.
The incident took place when a student sent a tweet to the district’s social media account, asking schools to remain closed, but he misspelled “tomorrow” as “tammarow.”
Nash tried correcting this error, “But then how would you learn how to spell 'tomorrow?’'' she replied from the school’s Twitter account.
Her response garnered some 100 retweets and even more likes, and she started to get popular with the hashtag #KatiefromFCPS
However, the 33-year-old was shortly told to quit her $44,066 web-experience coordinator job for mocking a student.
“As a new employee, I think I sort of would have expected that there would have been some counseling or some suggestions on how to improve,” she said. “Any social-media manager is looking for increasing engagement, and that’s sort of the expected parameter. I think a conversation about how we engage with students would have been completely appropriate and I would have welcomed that.”
“I don’t want to be a distraction to the school system and the goals they have for overarching achievement,” Nash added, explaining that, for her, the school’s goals matter more than anything else.
Wish success for FCPS, students deserve the best. Don't regret a tweet. #katiefromFCPS says do ur homewurk - no one takes away ur education— Katie Nash (@katienash) January 13, 2017
The social media manager gained more fame in the Twitter spotlight. After she was terminated, the hashtag #freekatie soon started making waves on the internet.
@katienash I hope you know you did not deserve this and I am truly infuriated.— Patrick (@PatrickRollman_) January 14, 2017
@lindseye521 just so she knows we have an amazing school system ... FCPS is more than this. We should be proud of our teachers/students.— Katie Nash (@katienash) January 15, 2017
However, Nash holds no grudges and has wished the school all the very best.
Note to the school: It's better to give the employees a second chance so that they can learn from their mistakes, because the precedence being set here, of schools firing employees for something that was not done purposely is questionable.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Steve Marcus