Teacher with Facebook gun photo remains on leave
Posted: Feb 6, 2009 12:24 PM
BEAVER DAM (WKOW) -- A Beaver Dam teacher who posted a prominent photograph of herself with a gun on Facebook has not been allowed to return to her school and remains on administrative leave.
"We are collecting more information," Beaver schools superintendent Donald Childs told 27 News. When asked when teacher Betsy Ramsdale would return to her duties at Beaver Dam Middle School, Childs said he could not provide that information. "Not yet."
Childs has said a school staff member discovered Ramsdale's post of a photo of Ramsdale pointing a rifle at the camera on Ramsdale's Facebook page, and expressed concerns to district officials, leading to Ramsdale's administrative leave.
"(Ramsdale's motivation) Nothing negative or hostile," Childs told 27 News. But Childs refused to identify Ramsdale's motivation for posting the photo as her profile photo on the social networking website, which allows almost any web surfer access to it. Ramsdale has told 27 News she immediately removed the post when it was questioned, but has answered no questions about the post or her leave.
Childs told 27 News he doubted Ramsdale would face disciplinary action over the web post.
Childs called Ramsdale "a good and capable teacher."
In a statement, Christopher Ahmuty of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin said Ramsdale should not have been forced out of the classroom.
"Absent any evidence that the teacher poses a threat, the district should not over-react to the sight of a gun in one of their employee's hands."
Representatives of Ramsdale' union, the Beaver Dam Education Association, have not returned repeated phone calls from 27 News seeking comment.