Veteran Brooklyn teacher Christine Rubino is facing a possible axing for a Facebook status she furiously typed from her BlackBerry six months ago. The day after a 12-year-old Harlem school girl drowned on a class trip to the beach, Rubino wrote, “After today, I’m thinking the beach is a good trip for my class. I hate their guts.” When a friend commented, “Wouldn’t you throw a life jacket to little Kwami?” Rubino said, “No, I wouldn’t for a million dollars.” So. That was a bad idea. Tasteless, clearly. It took a little while, but eventually one of Rubino’s Facebook friends snitched on her to the school principal, and the school consequently launched a six-month probe into a single Facebook status.
Rubino, who makes $78,885 per year, has now been pulled from her fifth-grade classroom, pending a Department of Education hearing. If she’s axed, it would set a new precedent for teacher decorum on social networks. Namely, that wishing death on students, even from the privacy of one’s own Facebook or Twitter — even if you’re joking — is grounds for a firing.
Weirdly, though, Ms. Rubino sounds like she still thinks her quip was justified: “[The class] was out of control that week,” she explained to the Post, of her elementary school students. “They were spitting on each other, kicking each other, putting gum in each other’s hair. [The charges] are a witch hunt. I’m good at my job.” Well, you know, sometimes you just get really mad at work! Try not to type about it, though. Nope, don’t ever do that.