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Teacher Fired For Ripping Students, Blames Facebook

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- A teacher flunked Facebook 101 and now she's lost her job.

She wrote comments on the popular social networking site that she thought would only be seen by her friends. But, as CBS 2's Dave Carlin reports, boy was she wrong.

"It was a joke," Dr. June Talvitie-Siple told CBS 2's "Early Show" on Friday.

What she wrote on her Facebook page she thought only her friends would see:

"The town is so arrogant and snobby."

"I'm so not looking forward to another year at Cohasset schools."

"Now I remember why I stopped teaching. Kids ... they are all germ bags."

Those comments cost Talvitie-Siple her school administrator job that pays around $92,000 a year. She was asked to resign and she did.

"It wasn't like I was slam-basting anyone. It's just that I was frustrated," Dr. Talvitie-Siple said.

She flew from her Massachusetts home to New York to appear on Friday's CBS "Early Show" and explained that her Facebook privacy settings were automatically re-set during an upgrade, and she had no idea.

"They default things to being open and you have to opt out," Talvitie-Siple said.

Her former boss said the best way for employees to protect themselves is to always assume Facebook is NOT private, no matter what the settings say.

"Anything you put on social networking sites could be made public," Cohasset assistant superintendent Dr. Alfred Slanetz said.

"You have to be very diligent -- far more than I am," Talvitie-Siple added.

She said her comments were taken out of context and she said people in the well-heeled little town of Cohasset now think she's a trash talker.

"Well, not everybody is arrogant and snobby," she said.

Talvitie-Siple said she has learned her lesson and now, even though she has more time on her hands, she won't be spending that time on Facebook.

This is not the first incident of postings on Facebook costing people in the workplace. Back in August of 2009, three Harrison, N.Y., police officers were suspended without pay for posting alleged racist and sexist comments on their Facebook pages.

One detective reportedly made watermelon and fried chicken jokes about President Barack Obama on the social networking site. The detective and others reportedly ridiculed Mayor Joan Walsh with sexual comments.

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