So, there's a little hubub in the news right now about 23 year old Carly McKinney, a high school math teacher in Colorado. McKinney is in hot water after she posted racy pictures of herself online, referred to students as "jail bait," and bragged on twitter about getting high and bringing weed onto school property.
She is currently on (paid) administrative leave. Some of her students are rallying to her defense, claiming that McKinney acted within her 1st Amendment rights.
I'm not even going to get started on teacher's unions and why she still has her job. Let's just consider this whole first amendment thing:
Since when does freedom of speech include freedom from consequence? What you say says something about you. So own up to it. The disconnect between the image you choose to project and what you are is limited. It's kind of like people who choose to dress outlandishly to "express themselves" and then complain that people superficially judge them. They fail to acknowledge that what is communicated on the receiving end is just as significant as what is communicated by the transmitter.
So when you flaunt yourself as a someone who's aim is to “stay sexy … stay high … stay drunk,” don't be surprised when someone actually takes you on your word.
It's about sincerity, folks. As much as we'd like to pretend that social media is a facade, it's only a flimsy one at best. Truth is a power. I'm thinking of a tightly wound spring or coil. At some point it involves a whole lot of energy (or talent) to keep it compressed. And maybe then we'd wish we had stayed on the right side of it.
But I digress. I am no constitutional scholar. My understanding of the 1st amendment is protecting individuals from government interference. I'm not sure it's meant to protect individuals from other individuals or from private entities. Marijuana is now legal under Colorado state law. But bringing it onto school property is against school policy.
I'm not advocating that McKinney suffer any consequences from her government. McKinney, for all I know, must continue to enjoy the rights to the justice system, to fair taxation, to run for public office, to vote, etc., etc.
However, her employer is not The Government. Her employer is someone or someones who are interested in securing role models and educators for the youth of their community. They need not be forced to make some mental game of Twister to avoid connecting Miss McKinney on-the-clock with the Miss McKinney off-campus.
Miss McKinney is free to identify herself however she wants and to tweet whatever she wants on twitter. But--like the rest of us--she is not free to any job she wants.