Students take aim at teachers online

February 18, 2010 3:54:15 PM PST
Earlier this week, ABC11 reported district officials have suspended a Wake County middle school teacher with pay after parents complained that Melissa Hussain - an 8th grade teacher at West Lake Middle in Apex - wrote negative comments about her class on her Facebook page.

She has since hired an attorney. But as we started looking into the case, ABC11 noticed teachers aren't the only ones sounding off online.

Wake County students routinely vent their frustrations about school and teachers on social media websites like Facebook. We found a "I hate Garner High School" page, an "I hate Davis Drive Middle," and there's "Apex Middle School Survivors," just to name a few.

Students sound off about who they think is the worst teacher and hurl other insults.

So far, no students have been punished for their actions in the classroom.

Outgoing superintendent Del Burns says that's because teachers are held to higher standards - even on Facebook.

"Comments need to be the same comments that would be made to anyone, anywhere, any time. Whether it's standing in this board room in front of the board of education or standing in front of me, in front of a child's parents, in front of a child him or herself, it doesn't matter," he explained.

School leaders point out students have been punished for recording fights on buses and classrooms with their cell phones and then posting them on YouTube. They say comments on Facebook are monitored closely too.

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