Katie Nash was terminated from her job at Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) in Maryland on Jan. 13 after a light-hearted tweet to a student about spelling (video below).
On Jan. 5, the student tweeted, "[FCPS Maryland] close school tammarow PLEASE," and Nash, tweeting for FCPS, wrote: "but then how would you learn how to spell 'tomorrow :).'"
Nash explained to WHAG why she tweeted the remark:
We had received feedback from some students in a focus group that our tweeting was a bit flat. They were looking for some more engagement. They were looking for us to tweet back at them and I really took that to heart because I know that I am a little bit older and maybe not as hip as some of the students are, so I took that to heart and I took that feedback in...
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I think it was early in the day, I want to say it was the afternoon when [the student] did that. And then later that evening we were going to get some snow, and the students were tweeting back and forth, so it just sort of provided a natural opportunity to respond and do so in a fun lighthearted way.
While several folks in he community thought it was funny, Nash was told to delete it by her bosses at FCPS.
Michael Doerrer, the Director of Communications, Community Engagement and Marketing with FCPS, said he called the student and apologized, but it's not clear why.
The student was amused, and tweeted back that he thought it was funny, notes The Free Thought Project.
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While the student got an unneeded apology, Nash received a termination letter from FCPS:
Dear Katie, this letter confirms our discussion today that your probation period as a Web Experience Coordinator for Frederick County Public Schools will not be extended. You will be terminated from your assignment effective January 13, 2017.
Nash told WHAG that she hopes FCPS can learn from this experience: "Out of this entire experience, that something really positive comes out of this because I think the community has sort of been looking at this and various reactions, mostly positive, but I really am sincere and I hope FCPS thinks, 'How can we use social media to engage our community going forward?'"
Nash plans to still be part of school functions, such as the PTA.