Target: Principal of Rainshaven Elementary School, Inger Griffin
Goal: Fire kindergarten teacher Tameka Gatewood for posting inappropriate comments about her students on Facebook
Two kindergarten students were the subject of their teacher’s ranting on her public Facebook page. Tameka Gatewood, kindergarten teacher at Rainshaven Elementary School, posted the following comments in reference to two of her students’ insults toward each other: “How bout I blasted both of them. The girl in my class hair is nappy almost every day and the boy wears dirty clothes, face nasty and can’t even read. They didn’t bother nobody else when I got through with them.” She then added, “What do you think you’re supposed to do? Bang! Bang! Shoot ’em up dammit! Just kidding!! For real tho – slap their ass back then Bang! Bang! Shoot ’em up dammit.”
This is not the first issue that the Memphis school district has had with Tameka Gatewood. Her personnel files show that early in her career she had been reprimanded several times for insubordination. The files also contain a letter from the school principal where Gatewood held an office job at the time. The principal urged the district to fire her, but a few years later, Gatewood ended up becoming a teacher.
Parents are left wondering how this teacher treats her students in the classroom if she publicly addresses them so horribly on the internet. Their concerns are justified. Although the City of Memphis created its own policy earlier this year that prevents city employees from posting comments that reflect negatively on the city or pose the threat of a lawsuit, this policy does not affect school officials employed within the city. In fact, Memphis city schools have no social media policy at all for the district. They do not monitor any of their employees’ social media sites, including Facebook.
Schools are supposed to be a safe place for children, especially kindergarteners, and teachers are supposed to set good examples for their students to follow. The act of defaming a child whom you are supposed to be teaching is deplorable and brings into question whether a social media policy is necessary for school employees. Although Tameka Gatewood has been suspended without pay, she needs to be fired for her public postings. Sign the petition to demand that Tameka Gatewood be fired for commenting about her students on Facebook.
Dear Inger Griffin,
It is a teacher’s job to provide a safe environment where students feel comfortable and can learn through their mistakes. Kindergarten teacher, Tameka Gatewood, did not uphold this responsibility. Instead, she publicly ridiculed two of her students on her Facebook page. The comments that Gatewood made on the internet are disrespectful to students and other teachers alike, creating the false idea that teachers make fun of their students behind their backs.
Tameka Gatewood should not be teaching. Her actions toward her students show that she has no tolerance for children and can not effectively teach them. If she is willing to criticize her kindergarten students publicly on the internet, it is impossible to imagine how she treats them in the classroom. This has caused concern from parents and school officials. It seems necessary for the school to implement a social media policy to deter anything like this from happening again. Under no circumstances should teachers be posting about their students on any form of social media. Tameka Gatewood deserves to lose her job.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: thewhizzer.blogspot.com