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Old February 8, 2009, 02:15 AM   #26
sholling
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Not quite the same in a lot of states. Most teachers are employed under the terms of some "labor contract" negotiated by a teacher's union. In many states, your employment is "at will" and there is no legal contract or binding agreement. As such, if you work for a company and for some reason appear "in public" in a manner which could or does embarass the company, your job is toast. If you did commercials for Ford claiming that you're a "proud Ford owner" but your Facebook page shows you driving a BMW or (perhaps worse) displaying your "pride & joy" is a 2007 Corvette, you could expect Ford to fire you.
The relevant part here is that she is an employee of a government agency and is being punished for her choice of free expression on her own time and using no school resources. That's a 1st Amendment violation and grounds for a suit. It's also a 2nd Amendment violation. A government employer cannot punish you for belonging to the communist party, the NRA, attending a gay rights meeting, or anything else of that nature. Those are protected rights. Only moral turpitude crosses the line and even that is dicey. Private employers on the other hand (depending on the state) could fire you.
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Old February 8, 2009, 06:45 PM   #27
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It is time to make it policy, law, etc. that employers have no control over your life except for evaluating your performance on the job or how it directly effects the firm or institution by actions relevant to its business. Not indirect PR issues.

If some one wants to pose naked and Granny Tightbutt gets all twitter - not her business or the school board's.
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Old February 9, 2009, 02:00 PM   #28
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"This is really stupid. She should sue."

Agreed: to both points.
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Old February 16, 2009, 01:52 PM   #29
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Some new info:

ACLU of Wisconsin defends Beaver Dam teacher (suspeneded for facebook firearm photo)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
MILWAUKEE (WKOW) - The ACLU of Wisconsin is defending a Beaver Dam teacher who was put on administrative leave after she posted a questionable photo on her Facebook page.

From the ACLU of Wisconsin:

ACLU of Wisconsin: School should allow teacher to pose with rifle on Facebook

A Beaver Dam Middle School teacher, Betsy Ramsdale, should not have been put on administrative leave simply because of a photo on Facebook showing her training a rifle at the camera. While school safety is of paramount importance, public school teachers do not lose their right to free expression when they are not working.

The context of the photo, the whole Facebook page, is important to understand before taking action against a teacher, who happens to be a gun enthusiast. Media accounts of the photo do not indicate any additional grounds for concern. Beaver Dam School District superintendent Donald Childs is reported to be unaware of any sinister intent.

"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," said Chris Ahmuty, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin today.

The ACLU of Wisconsin is a membership organization devoted to the defense and promotion of civil liberties and rights for all Wisconsin residents.

http://www.wkowtv.com/Global/story.a...nav=menu1362_2

------ What, the ACLU? Also, I reiterate my point that employers should have no control over things that are not directly job related.
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Old February 16, 2009, 03:28 PM   #30
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One of the very few times I've ever wanted to applaud the ACLU.
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Old February 16, 2009, 03:31 PM   #31
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I can hardly believe my eyes. The ACLU is doing something RIGHT! Wow.
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Old February 16, 2009, 10:37 PM   #32
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I can hardly believe my eyes. The ACLU is doing something RIGHT! Wow
The who ACLU
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Old February 16, 2009, 10:50 PM   #33
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Update from WI

Update from MKE on this case - just what people have been saying about it -

Our largest news-radio station's hosts brought the case up pretty much as it happened, support for the teacher was overwhelmingly positive with one disturbing note. Everyone said that it was no big deal, supported her privacy, right to engage in her hobbies etc.

However, what was not positive was everyone prefaced their argument saying that because this happened in Beaver Dam, WI, this whole thing was OK. They suggest that this is acceptable in what they implicitly called redneck Beaver Dam but not in a civilized place like Milwaukee. Some callers said this was fine in Beaver Dam but if it was a Milwaukee or suburban teacher, than this may have been unacceptable.

Plenty of the people I work with though thought that she deserved punishment because as a teacher, she should be held to higher standard of conduct and not play with guns. Sigh, that is quite a prevalent mentality here.

Obviously I support the teacher and wish any repercussions for school board stupidity didn't have to come out of the Beaver Dam tax-payers' pockets.

I agree with the above posts, particularly the hypocrisy I expected from the ACLU - if it was any civil right except firearms, they would have been on this weeks ago. Hence, hearing they accepted to at least review the case shocks me.

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Old February 16, 2009, 11:12 PM   #34
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MR. X, the problem with the ACLU, and anyone else that disapproves, is that they are having a hard time divorcing the "gun" from the first amendment rights of the teacher.

The second amendment "problem" is merely a peripheral (if it is anything) note to her first amendment right that has been stomped upon by the school board.

Odd that so few really see this.
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Old February 17, 2009, 01:48 AM   #35
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one of the things I picked up from the video report is that some students might have been able to use school computers to access and perhaps print out right there at the school a nice laser printer copy of the picture. If that in fact is the case then having a bunch of these photo copies floating around the school might have been some concern to the administrators. but they let the genie out of the bottle because now even though it is no longer probably just on her facebook page it is all over the net and blinking like a big red light. But I think some states have clauses about professional behavior vs. doing no damage to school and/or students vs conduct unbecoming kind of thing, it's an ethics clause to try and keep the real sickos out of the system. The teacher, considering her position, was stupid to make it the primary pix which meant it was the public pix. unless she really was just looking for a nice lawsuit. I got a gut feeling there is something in her contract that might prevent her from any victory in the courts. She took it down. I agree with her doing that.
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Old February 17, 2009, 11:07 AM   #36
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Why is it a concern that students can print such a picture? It is not the school's business unless you accept that she is doing something bad.

So if a teacher is in a gun competition or hunting and posts a picture of such - they can be fired or disciplined?

Makes no sense. Employers are not slave owners.
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Old February 17, 2009, 11:36 AM   #37
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Does anyone have a link to the actual picture?
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Old February 17, 2009, 12:19 PM   #38
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I believe this is it...



I don't know. She looks kind of dangerous (possibly mentally unstable) to me. Just look at the way she's holding the gun. It's like she intends to actually shoot it.

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File Type: jpg 9781795_BG1.JPG (22.2 KB, 151 views)
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Old February 17, 2009, 12:26 PM   #39
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I kind of like the ACLU
Wish some firearms organization would step behind her.

I realize this is directly 1A, but if 1A does not pertain to 2A we have lost.
Be like saying Citizens have the right to bear arms, unless they are involved in free speech.
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Old February 17, 2009, 01:09 PM   #40
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i'm 57. but when I was in school through 4 years of college i sorta had what I would call a healthy disrespect for many of my teachers/professors due to what I would call excessive authoritarian personalities. It was a you are gonna absorb this information as I (the teacher) present it to you kind of thing. So I could see myself feeling somewhat repressed & controlled if the teachers at the time were also predominately displaying pictures of themselves with weapons that appear to be pointed at the viewer (me, the student) of the picture. Mild intimidation. At middle school level I'd probably have complained to the principle asking just what the heck this teachers message to me was with this photo. At the college level I probably would have registered a complaint with the university. Of course this was late 60's early 70's and with the war and the campus killings it would have been just another message from the *man* that my liberties are threatened and who gives a damn. Teachers/Professors with guns aimed at the viewer of the persons pix, what a lovely message.
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Old February 17, 2009, 01:34 PM   #41
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Not surprising in the least I have always thought school boards are given to much power and are very used to running things their own way outside of the law and BOR.
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Old February 17, 2009, 10:47 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr X
However, what was not positive was everyone prefaced their argument saying that because this happened in Beaver Dam, WI, this whole thing was OK. They suggest that this is acceptable in what they implicitly called redneck Beaver Dam but not in a civilized place like Milwaukee. Some callers said this was fine in Beaver Dam but if it was a Milwaukee or suburban teacher, than this may have been unacceptable.

Plenty of the people I work with though thought that she deserved punishment because as a teacher, she should be held to higher standard of conduct and not play with guns. Sigh, that is quite a prevalent mentality here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
Why is it a concern that students can print such a picture? It is not the school's business unless you accept that she is doing something bad.
I think that, for some people, they see it as a morals issue. They equate guns with "bad things and bad people" due to the demonization of guns in America by the Bradys and the media. Thus, if she handles and is familiar with guns, she must be morally corrupt. Q.E.D.

Let's suppose that instead of holding the rifle, we saw a completely different photo of her. What else would cause parental complaints in a community?
- She posed with a joint in her hand or mouth.
- Photographed sloppy drunk at a party?
- A picture of her in a bikini hugging a teenage boy
- Participating in a wet t-shirt contest at Hooters?

Any of the above would usually be sufficient to warrant a school district to look into a teacher's background. Drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, potential sexual interest in student-aged boys, and public exhibitionism could all be used as part of a "moral turpitude" allegation that she was unfit and/or posed a risk as a teacher.

To liberal-leaning minds, guns equate to people who are criminals, have criminal desires, are beer-swizzling rednecks or violent schitzes ready to "go off". Thus they see this as "morally corrupt" in their belief system.

It's true that a picture is worth a thousand words and a "photograph tells a story". But the viewer can hear the wrong words or get the wrong story from a photograph too. A bikini-clad teacher hugging a 13-15 y/o boy or posing in a "fond embrace" would certainly raise eyebrows today. Unless the caption says "Betsy hugging nephew Danny at his summer birthday BBQ".

Likewise, the rifle photograph tells a story. The question is whether or not the viewer is listening to ESPN or NPR.

That her "behavior" (what little we can tell of it in the photo) is acceptable in a rural setting but not in "the big city" is preposterous. If we turn this around and say "being openly gay in public is okay in the big city, but will get you fired in rural America" the gay rights activists, the ACLU and liberal nitwits would descend on that like locusts.

The Bradyites get free press when they refer to guns as "killing machines", "weapons of war" or that "so many of our children die because of guns". Unfortunately we stand on our "Constitutional Rights" as a moral high ground, something that has an intangible feel to most people.

We - the firearms community - should be putting forth images and/or advertisements that show family recreational shooting or cowboy shooting, happy responsible adults urging safety or training classes both for education and fun. The only way to counter the "bad moral image" the anti-gun propagandists have spread is to show positive images of gun ownership.
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Old February 18, 2009, 10:18 AM   #43
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I have no use for left wing or right wing thought police to make it easy. You do your job and don't break the law. I don't care if some right wing tight butt is concerned with your legal sexuality and I don't care if some left wing tight butt is concerned with you legally using a firearm.

A plague on both their houses. The principle is easy - your behavior off the job, if legal, and doesn't DIRECTLY attack the employer - is not the business of the employer.

I see no difference between a teacher being a topless dancer or posing topless for a college art class as an advanced art elective in painting.

Not the employer's business.
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Old February 18, 2009, 10:29 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by BillCA
And just because you have "free speech" does not mean you're immune from the consequences of that right.
I distinctly remember reading a newspaper article, back when I was in high school, which had in it an interview with a high-ranking member of the Soviet government (back when there was a Soviet government). Wish I still had the article. The interviewer asked the Soviet official about free speech in the USSR. "Oh, we have freedom of speech!" the official explained. "It's what happens after you speak that is sometimes the issue. We do have to make sure that these people are not enemies of the state."

Don't worry about it. I'm sure it will never get that bad here.

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Old February 28, 2009, 10:27 PM   #45
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I can hardly believe my eyes. The ACLU is doing something RIGHT! Wow.
Don't kid yourself even a broken clock will still show the correct time twice a day.
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Old March 1, 2009, 08:44 AM   #46
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In my opinion, Legal or Not, its dumb.

Legal or not, posting pictures of yourself posing with a gun on the internet is a dumb idea.
As a sanity check, imagine what it will look like to a jury if you ever face charges for a defensive shooting. No thanks.
Because firearm enthusiasts are at the leading edge of personal responsibility, we need to behave that way.
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Old March 1, 2009, 09:40 AM   #47
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Mowog, Also work diligently to change the mindset of the general public (that are our jurors) that just because you own/like guns your not bad. Shooting guns is a sport and good clean fun. MORE pics of people/families enjoying this sport should be made public. Not hidden! Thats the way it should be looked at. Shooting/having guns is not illegal and if I were this lady the law suits would fly.
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Old March 1, 2009, 01:32 PM   #48
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The only issue I can see....

Is that there was no caption stating that the camera was tripod mounted. So, it appears, and people assume, that she is pointing the gun at a person (holding the camera). And, by extension, she is pointing a gun at the viewer.

I wouls suggest that pictures showing enthusiasts holding, and using guns in a positive, recreational manner should be encouraged. Pics pointing the gun at the camera should not be. Don't want some emotionally insecure paranoid individual getting scared by a picture, now do we.
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Old March 1, 2009, 02:19 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mowog
Because firearm enthusiasts are at the leading edge of personal responsibility, we need to behave that way.
Mowog...are you saying that she was not responsible because she posted a picture of herself with a firearm on the internet? If so, this is the kind of anti-gun attitude we need to confront, not foster.

As I see it, a person can go two directions. They can keep all their firearm enthusiasm contained and not displayed in such public places as the internet, or they can proudly (and yes, responsibly) proclaim their interests in firearms. Even if you don't post pictures of yourself with firearms, do you really think an attorney is not going to drudge your hobby up? The number and type of firearms you own will be discussed as will how often you frequent the range or what kind of ammo you have. You won't be able to hide this, nor should you. What we have to do is insist, through the legal system, that people aren't unfairly convicted because of these details.

Please don't take this as a personal attack Mowog, but if any DA were to look at your blog, they would see that you have shot USPSA matches. That's no big deal, right? Well, you are running around simulating a gunfight. You are shooting at human shaped targets, not rabid badgers. Do you think that might portray a gung ho, "I want to shoot somebody" attitude? I'd bet you dollars for donuts that an attorney would sure try to spin it this way. Again...I'm not attacking you or anyone else that would shoot in these matches. It's just food for thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Is that there was no caption stating that the camera was tripod mounted. So, it appears, and people assume, that she is pointing the gun at a person (holding the camera). And, by extension, she is pointing a gun at the viewer.

I wouls suggest that pictures showing enthusiasts holding, and using guns in a positive, recreational manner should be encouraged. Pics pointing the gun at the camera should not be. Don't want some emotionally insecure paranoid individual getting scared by a picture, now do we.
I agree...why make people wonder how dumb or unsafe you are? The problem is that even if you post a comment detailing what precautions you took when pointing a gun at the camera, those details won't necessarily follow the photo when it flies through cyberspace and is duplicated countless times.

Other than that...I don't have an opinion.

Fly
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Old March 1, 2009, 10:47 PM   #50
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The Rules Mrs. Palin, the Rules.

On topic (sort of),always be careful what you put on the net. Right, wrong or indifferent, someone will disagree and give you grief.
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