Melissa Cairns, a middle school teacher in Ohio, posted a photo to her Facebook profile of students with duct tape across their mouths. The caption read. “Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!”
ABC News reports Cairns now faces termination from the Buchtel Community Learning Center after a colleague reported the photo to the school’s principal. “Do I think that this one stupid mistake should cost me 10 years of all the good I’ve done? Absolutely not,” Cairns says.
Melissa admits she “made a bad mistake of thinking it was funny and posting it on Facebook.”
Cairns maintains the duct tape was given to a student to fix a binder, but the student took the tape and put it over her own mouth as a joke. The 33-year-old teacher claims the other students, also amused, followed suit and encouraged her to take a photo.
Cairns is currently on leave without pay, and the school board has voted to pursue termination.
For her part, Melissa insists this was a learning opportunity for the students.
“When you’re emotions are involved, that’s when you learn things,” says Cairns. “When you’re able to laugh and connect with the teacher, and trust the teacher, that’s when your mind is really open to learn.”
Alrighty, then … Melissa has until the end of the week to respond to the Akron Public Schools Board of Education.