Teacher Says It Wasn't Him, Facebook Comments Hacked
BY Lucas Grindley
October 28 2011 2:30 PM ET
A Missouri math teacher who was being investigated by the school district for offensive comments on his Facebook page now says he was hacked.
Local radio station KZRG reports that Jim Whitney told the school board that it wasn't him who wrote that the "moral of the story" about a recent teenage suicide in Canada is "don't be gay." Whoever made that post, in reply to a friend who had mentioned the tragedy, got even more offensive in a further reply.
When questioned by another person about how many more cases of suicide it will take before people pay attention, Whitney allegedly retorted, "11-13 ought to do it."
"We've investigated and found no wrong-doing on the part of the teacher," Joplin Superintendent CJ Huff told News Talk KZRG. "It's unfortunate when you're dealing with social media and dealing with technology and the potential for people to get on to other people's accounts and say things that shouldn't be said."
The Joplin Globe reports that the former student who Whitney was seen replying to, Josh Gonzalez, said the comments did seem out of character. Gonzalez says his former teacher also told him that his Facebook account had been hacked.
Whitney issued a statement about the controversy that implied the comments somehow didn't match his own opinions, without mentioning having been hacked.
“I do not condone bullying or harassment of any kind and I am very aware and saddened by the negative impact this type of behavior creates," he wrote to the Globe. "I regret that the posts appeared on Facebook. They do not reflect my personal views and I apologize for any and all offenses caused by the comment.”
In the highest profile cases of teachers making antigay comments on Facebook, none have lost their jobs. Social studies teacher Jerry Buell, for example, worked with a lawyer form the Liberty Counsel and successfully argued his words were protected by First Amendment freedoms.
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