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Frederick Co. Schools Employee Speaks Out After Being Fired For Tweet

FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) -- A Frederick County Public Schools employee is now speaking out after she was fired for a tweet she posted from the school's social media account, correcting a student's spelling.

Following forecasts predicting winter weather coming to the area on January 5, a student tweeted at the Twitter account, @FCPSMaryland, asking schools to close "tammarow."

FCPS Social Media Coordinator Katie Nash reportedly wrote in response to the student, from the school's Twitter: "But then how would you learn how to spell 'tomorrow?' :)"


Nash, 34, says she had a four-minute meeting with Frederick County Public Schools supervisors and received a letter from the school district, reading:

"Dear Katie,  this letter confirms our discussion today that your probationary 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 says the school system was working on being more relaxed and interactive with students on social media.
"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,"  Nash tells WHAG-TV.
"The students were tweeting back and forth, so it just sort of provided a natural opportunity to respond, and do so in a fun, light-hearted way," she says.
Nash says thought her reply would be a way to engage the students, who were excited about the possibility of a snow day.
"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 student's are, so I took that to heart and I took that feedback in," says Nash.
The tweet went viral and got positive feedback. However, after this incident, Nash reportedly was asked to delete the tweet. But the school district didn't stop there, the FCPS Director of Communications, Community Engagement & Marketing  Michael Doerrer called the student to apologize.
Doerrer confirmed to WHAG-TV that Nash was no longer employed with the school system, but he didn't comment on the circumstances.

Nash started working as a web experience coordinator in November.

The response from Nash's FCPS tweet received more than 1,000 retweets and 1,000 likes and she became the subject of a hashtag, #KatiefromFCPS. Later #freekatie also appeared in students' Twitter feeds.

The student later wrote that he didn't mind Nash's original reply and didn't take it personally.

Nash says she hopes the school board uses the situation to learn more about how to best reach the community on social media.

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