Katie Nash, a social media manager for a Frederick County Public School district in Maryland was fired over a tweet she sent to a student about his spelling.
When the student asked @FCPSMaryland via Twitter on Jan. 5 for school to be closed “tammarow,” Katie replied, “but then how would you learn how to spell ‘tomorrow’? :)”
The student took Nash’s reply in stride, writing on Twitter that he didn’t take it personally, but Frederick County Public Schools terminated her contract anyway.
Nash’s boss, Michael Doerrer, handed her a letter announcing her firing in a Jan. 13 meeting that lasted just four minutes, Nash told the Daily News.
“It happened really quickly,” she said. “They handed me a letter and then asked for my badge and ID.”
Students and other Twitter users have come to Nash’s defense; hashtags #KatiefromFCPS and #freekatie have been created since her dismissal from her $44,066 a year job as web experience coordinator for the school district.
Nash has continued tweeting, but from her personal account, where she’s expressed support for FCPS and its students and says she doesn’t regret tweeting. “Wish success for FCPS, students deserve the best. Don’t regret a tweet. #katiefrom FCPS says do ur homewurk – no one takes away ur education,” she wrote on Jan. 13.
“FCPS is more than just a couple of people and we do have amazing teachers and support staff who are doing amazing things,” she told The News. “What a couple of individuals did is not really the entire system.”
A Care2 petition has been created on Nash’s behalf, aimed at restoring her job,
As of Sunday, it had almost reached its goal of 2,000 supporters.
“We need to get her her job back or at least get her a job somewhere where she is rightfully appreciated,” the petition reads.
“Her comment was on point. The spelling was wrong and her response was respectful yet truthful,” wrote one of the petition’s supporters.
Nash was hired in November, and as a new employee, said she would have expected feedback and guidance on how to better do her job, rather than a dismissal.
She said she hadn’t received much guidance on how to handle the Twitter account in the first place and wasn’t approached after the incident, except to be asked not to tweet anymore.
She’s taking this opportunity to send a message to her students.
“It’s important to me that they see it is how you react to a situation that really defines who you are. I am really trying to get to each one of them and say maybe it’s not fair, but life will go on, and I have a lot of opportunity ahead of me because I got a great education.”
Listen, it’s 2017 — EVERY moment is a teachable moment. We don’t think she should’ve been fired — do you?