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Student, Denied Degree For MySpace Photo, Sues

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the striking-back dept.

The Courts 823

gwoodrow writes "We've all heard the 'fired because of MySpace' stories, where a simple blog or picture gets someone canned. But now one of the targets is fighting back. (The offending picture in this case was a snap from Halloween 2005 of the student in a pirate outfit drinking from a cup.)" From the article: "Teacher in training Stacy Snyder was denied her education degree on the eve of graduation when Millersville University apparently found pictures on her MySpace page 'promoting underage drinking.' As a result, the 27-year-old mother of two had her teaching certificate withheld and was granted an English degree instead. In response, Snyder has filed a Federal lawsuit against the Pennsylvania university asking for her education diploma and certificate along with $75,000 in damages."

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GodSmack your ass !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19034261)

GodSmack your ass !!

Muhauauuwhwwwa

umm (4, Insightful)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034263)

2005 was 2 years ago, and she's 27 now, that makes her 25 in the photo...how is this underage drinking again?

Re:umm (4, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034305)

2005 was 2 years ago, and she's 27 now, that makes her 25 in the photo...how is this underage drinking again?

Wrong. The cup was clearly full of liquid LSD, which is a federal felony.

I just don't get the human race. It just seems clear that no matter what century it is, there is some kind of witch hunt or persecution of somebody for something. Is there anybody that has read something about this human phenonemon? Is there going to be a time when humans just don't do this kind of thing?

Re:umm (5, Insightful)

subterfuge (668314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034347)

Is there going to be a time when humans just don't do this kind of thing?

no

Re:umm (0, Offtopic)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034605)

*cough* biggots *cough*

Re:umm (5, Insightful)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034621)

I just don't get the human race. It just seems clear that no matter what century it is, there is some kind of witch hunt or persecution of somebody for something. Is there anybody that has read something about this human phenonemon? Is there going to be a time when humans just don't do this kind of thing?

You already understand that humans are utterly self-centered. Yet many of them have that irresistible desire to control others. It's a paradox, but still frighteningly logical...

Humans seek to control in others what they wish they could control in themselves.

They hate it when other people are having more fun than they are.

And they will cling to their moral rules even after those rules have lost their basis. (Certainly the mutual enforcement of morality is justifiably important in any family, tribe, or society, and certaintly this is an unending chore. But still: moral rules exist to maximize something; they are not divine ends-in-themselves.)

The current war against birth control illustrates all three phenomena of control:

  1. "I hate my profligate urges, but at least I can feel better about them by cracking down on yours."
  2. "Hey, no fair getting laid twice a week! My husband barely wants me once a month!"
  3. Them: "Promiscuous behavior is immoral because it creates unintentional babies."
    You: "But birth control ends that risk; therefore, there is no longer any basis for condemning promiscuous behavior. Your moral rule is obsolete."
    Them: "Then to protect morality, we must ban birth control."

Re:umm (5, Insightful)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034341)

2005 was 2 years ago, and she's 27 now, that makes her 25 in the photo...how is this underage drinking again?

I'm sure they originally thought she was 20 in the picture, and wanted to withhold her teaching certificate for underage drinking. Then when they found out she was 25 in the photo, they changed their story to not wanting anyone who has had alcohol touch their virgin lips to be teaching young children, rather than admitting they were wrong.

Re:umm (5, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034607)

This whole thing is simply idiotic, it seems obvious someone is out to "get her" and has convinced enough people to start cranking the wheels of "the complaint process". If it's fair game to investigate this womans life then what about the person(s) who put in the complaint, do they have alternative motivations? - Religion, revenge, nappy-wearing-jelousy?

A system of formal complaints that can screw up your life must be accountable, if formal complaints are to be taken seriously then abuse of the system needs to be puni$hed.

Re:umm (2, Insightful)

Knight Thrasher (766792) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034357)

Not to mention that if you read the cup, it's a cup advertising Chocolate. Nothing about beer is mentioned in the picture. Now, I COULD be mistaken, but I'm fairly positive Hersheys Mr Goodbars contain NO alcohol.


=_= Unless...

... this isn't about alcohol at all! Instead, a conservative right-wing conspiracy covering up the left-wing media frenzy over HOT CHOCOLATE!

Re:umm (0)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034377)

Teachers are held to a different standard [pchswi.org] than the rest of the student body.

Re:umm (4, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034529)

Are they not allowed to use cups?

Re:umm (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034441)

This is just plain ridiculous. It's not because she was 25, they aren't saying she was underage. They are saying (I think) that she is going to teach children and she is dressed in a costume that kids like, so they will think it's cool to drink and be a pirate. IT'S PLAIN FUCKING STUPID! The religious wrong in this country is just yet again trying to control every aspect of personal life with their stupid "think of the children" whine. She doesn't even have a beer bottle in her hand, it's a PLASTIC CUP! WTF?!?!?

Re:umm (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034601)

They are saying (I think) that she is going to teach children and she is dressed in a costume that kids like, so they will think it's cool to drink and be a pirate.

Besides, is the university the right organization to police who's appropriate to get an education degree? An education degree signifies that she has successfully completed her course work in education, no more, no less. If the State wants not to grant her a teaching license, that's a different story, but that's probably subject to some legal means of appeal and due process.

-b.

No BS please (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19034271)

No bullshit please, clearly she was denied her degree due to pressure from the RIAA. Dressing as a pirate and so on...

Arrr.

Obviously! (4, Funny)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034315)


Students only go to uni to leech movies and music and drink underage, getting a degree is just a bonus!!!

Re:Obviously! (5, Funny)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034425)

Let me correct that for you: -

only students in the US go to uni to leech music and movies and drink underage, students everywhere else go to uni to drink.

Re:Obviously! (1)

Space_Balls (728680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034527)

Exactly. One of my TAs here told us to bring some beers to class the other day. And there is no such thing as an Underage Student here.

Re:No BS please (5, Funny)

MishgoDog (909105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034525)

Actually, it was the Flying Spaghetti Monster [venganza.org] who saw her wearing the holy garb, and thus must give up her life of 'teaching' and preach the good word.

So, not for the first time, he noodled the School Board...

Don't you mean (5, Funny)

jonathan3003 (797920) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034735)

Arrr.IAA?

Define "promoting"? (3, Insightful)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034275)

I would like to see the page in question, since "promoting" and "here's a picture of people with a beer" are two very different things (but of course, can be interpreted any way the viewer wishes). Sigh -- MySpace to the rescue of society's morals an ethics again...

Re:Define "promoting"? (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034477)

It was a few years back, but basically depicting or mentioning are now synonymous with promoting. I probably have the memo somewhere...

Re:Define "promoting"? (1)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034653)

I don't have a link, and it has been a while, but when I saw the picture, there was nothing in the photo itself to indicate there was any alcohol. The picture was titled "Druken Pirate" and had a picture of her in a pirate costume drinking from a plastic tumbler. That is why this case is making the news. She was denied her credentials because of promoting "underage drinking" and she was of legal age, and no definitive proof as to wether the "drinking" was beer, root beer, or even water.

Finally! (0, Offtopic)

mdahl (1092585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034277)

A genuine re-use of the dumbestideaever tag!

She was not denied her degree (0, Troll)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034279)

She was granted an English degree and had her teaching certificate withheld. Also it appears more related to the 'Drunken Pirate'caption which accompanied the picture rather than the picture itself.

Re:She was not denied her degree (5, Funny)

subterfuge (668314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034427)

If its about the pirate thing they should encourage this behaviour as the decline in pirate population is the cause of global warming...

Re:She was not denied her degree (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034539)

Not to mention the way kids are struggling with the three ars in school today.

Re:She was not denied her degree (4, Interesting)

eck011219 (851729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034455)

She was denied the degree she was expecting to get and had worked toward -- I'm not sure why they would change her degree like that, unless the education degree includes the teaching certificate as well. Either way, it's a seemingly arbitrary change by the administration to the outcome of her education that will affect her in her chosen profession.

It's lunacy -- I heard the story a few days ago and figured there must be more to it, but having read more about it now, I don't think there is. Apparently if you have any semblance of an adult life outside school, you're unfit to teach (according to the Morals Police).

Reminds me of the Sprout Goodnight Show host and her firing -- she'd been in some short PSA spoofs about sex SEVEN YEARS before she worked at Sprout (which is a 24-hour PBS Kids network), but parents pressured PBS to fire her and they did so. I guess all that matters is that someone thinks something is bad -- that's now apparently enough to make it true. Here's the Sprout story [sfgate.com] , by the way. My kid didn't seem to care, but I'm sure others did.

Re:She was not denied her degree (1)

JoeD (12073) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034719)

Correction. Parents did not pressure PBS to fire her. PBS decided to do it on its own.

I was really torn by this.

On the one hand, it really sucked that she got canned for something like that. It had no bearing at all on what she did and how she did it, and enough time had gone by that people had pretty much forgotten about the "Technical Virgin" videos.

On the other hand, I -hated- her onscreen persona. Way way too smiley and perky and saccharine and cloying. I couldn't take more than a minute or two.

On the gripping hand, the persona wasn't aimed at me, but at my kids, and they seemed to like her.

Re:She was not denied her degree (1, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034619)

Teaching certificates are wielded like blunt objects. For better or worse, they are considered the best way to insure the safety of children. They are not a right, but a privilege. Pretty much, there are many ways to lose a teaching certificate, and not everyone is going to get one. This can be good as it not only protects children, but keep teacher pay high by filtering out the less serious practitioners. A certificate, unlike a degree, is at the pleasure of the state.

Without taking sides, I can see in the thinking of the board. If the teacher thought underage drinking was cool at 25, then is there reason to believe that the attitude has changed now? Kids have sufficient access to alcohol without teachers supplying it.

It keeps teacher pay high? (1)

ClayJar (126217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034701)

Pretty much, there are many ways to lose a teaching certificate, and not everyone is going to get one. This can be good as it not only protects children, but keep teacher pay high by filtering out the less serious practitioners.
What world do you live in where "teacher pay" can even be used in the same sentence as "high"? Frankly, that's the least-informed argument I've heard yet.

Re:She was not denied her degree (1)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034651)

I think you're right. The picture itself isn't offensive in any way, and the under-age drinking clearly has nothing to do with with her specifically -- she was 25 at the time. I speculate that it had something to do with the kids she was going to teach and possibly giving them booze. There's more than meets the eye.

Well (5, Interesting)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034291)

I for once am sick of this new wave of neo-moralism which is invading the USA, but sadly also Europe. It has gone so long now that there have been students in trouble (and expelled from an university), here in Sweden for just ben caught drinking a beer when they are 17. Can you imagine? A beer can compromise the future of a person... Long gone are the merry days of the hippy culture when things were so uncomplicated...

But I must be thankful that the new wave of religious moralism has not (yet) arrived here from America... But sadly, I expect it to arrive very soon...

Re:Well (5, Insightful)

braintartare (629755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034533)

It is not neo-moralism as much as it is simple cowardice. People in authority today, more than ever before, are doing the CYA thing regardless of the consequences to those under their authority. This judgement is sad, sick, absurd, wrong. But the people who made the judgement ( withhold her certificate ) thought that this was the safe course of action, that they were protecting themselves from any political fallout. As I suspect we will soon see, they couldn't BE more wrong. /chandler bing

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19034589)

It has gone so long now that there have been students in trouble (and expelled from an university), here in Sweden for just ben caught drinking a beer when they are 17. Can you imagine?
Sorry I don't believe you unless you can provide some referense. Universities doesn't even expel students who cheat.

Now, if you're talking about a "folkhögshola" and not a "högskola" that is a totally different ball of yarn. "Högskola" -> University, "Folkhögskola" -> Folk High School (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folk_high_school [wikipedia.org] . A Folk High School Sweden doesn't have to abide to any central teaching plans and have highly individual profiles (and therefor a Folh High School diploma isn't anywere as respected as a univeristy one because can't relly tell what it means). Moreover about 2/3 of all Swedish Folk High Schools are run by non-profit organisations and their values are allowed to be a major part of their profile as long as it's not legally discriminatory. Many of them have strict no-drugs rules and in those drinking definitly risks you getting thrown out on your ass. But they have nothing to do with swedish universities.

Just because someone said it on /. doesn't make it true.

So what they're saying here is... (5, Funny)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034303)

"It's OK for a drunken pirate to have a pretty useless degree, but we'll be damned if we're going to enable a drunken pirate to get a low paying stressful thankless job by giving them a certificate!"

Obviously ninja have infiltrated the schools administrative staff...

Re:So what they're saying here is... (0, Flamebait)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034489)

..low paying..
You clearly do not pay property taxes. Teachers now make more than the private sector, and in many instances, significantly more. Coupled with essentially "free" benefits for life, and it's quite the cushy job.

Re:So what they're saying here is... (4, Insightful)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034581)

Actually, I do pay property taxes as a home owner. I also know people who work in the teaching profession in the same city in which I pay these strangely high taxes. And in my brain I've made a note to someday figure out where the money is going because it's not going to the teachers.

And whereas yes they do get 3 months a year off, most of the don't make enough to avoid needing to get a summer job. Many of them are either working on grading papers and preparing lesson plans at home, or they're putting 12 hour days in at the school keeping up with some of it. The worst part is knowing how many of them honestly want to instill that vital critical thinking nugget in the heads of kids, but then get beaten down with the fact that they have to teach to a standardized test because that's what they'll be reviewed over.

Maybe where you're at the teachers job is a cushy one, but from my observations in a non suburb city it isn't. The only teachers I know who are thriving and loving the job all teach at private schools, and there aren't enough of those jobs to go around.

Re:So what they're saying here is... (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034655)

A relative of mine teaches in Kingston, NY in the ghetto. He'll be making over $55k this year, with tenure as a math teacher now after only 2 years out of college. Teachers get paid *good* money now, with phenomenal benefits (which they were initially given to offset poor pay). Because of the strength of the teaching unions, their payrate continues to increase at a rate much higher than the national average. Also, typically private schools pay less, and have worse working conditions.

Regardless, the real problem that they face is an over-abundance of elementary-ed majors getting out of college with no jobs to place them in.

Re:So what they're saying here is... (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034609)

How does ones profession effect their property taxes? Or can teaches claim some sort of special deduction in your state?

Re:So what they're saying here is... (1)

246o1 (914193) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034681)

"Teachers now make more than the private sector, and in many instances, significantly more. Coupled with essentially "free" benefits for life, and it's quite the cushy job."

You clearly have never been a teacher. It's hard work, there's very very little prospect of significant financial gain, and in many many schools it's a completely thankless job.

I assume by 'the private sector' you mean teachers at private (religious) schools, who often do even worse than the average teacher (but work in those schools out of dedication to their missions or somesuch). Everybody makes more than SOMEBODY in the private sector, which is why your comment was stupid/pointless/confusing.

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that your dislike of teachers is thanks to the constant negative press teacher's unions get, and not completely random. Here's not the place to discuss whether the unions are good or bad for education, but I would ask you to keep in mind that even if the union has some political power, that doesn't mean individual teachers are doing well financially. They aren't.

Re:So what they're saying here is... (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034695)

What does the amount of property tax you pay have to do with the salary of teachers in your area, much less those in the rest of the country?

That's like saying the little Thai kids who make shoes must be living a cushy lifestyle because you paid $150 for your Nike sneakers.

Talk about missing the point ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19034613)

"It's OK for a drunken pirate to have a pretty useless degree, but we'll be damned if we're going to enable a drunken pirate to get a low paying stressful thankless job by giving them a certificate!"

Errr, no. What they're saying is "It's OK for a drunken pirate to have a pretty useless degree, but we'll be damned if we're going to enable someone who (in our opinion) can't show proper discretion with alcohol to be around children where her lack of good judgment could have a significant negative impact".

Given the number of teachers/parents who've been busted of late giving/allowing their school age kids access to alcohol, this isn't exactly shocking. And no, I'm not saying it's the right thing to do, simply saying that you have to look at the context in order to start to understand why the officials are thinking the way they are.

A picture's worth a 1,000 words ... (2, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034307)

... and that picture says "Argh, matey, I'm mighty thirsty", but that's about it.

Perhaps some bored grad students at Millersville University, those who aren't working on OSS projects of course, will snap a few pic's of the University's administrators so others can jump to conclusions about them too.

hmm (4, Insightful)

cordsie (565171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034317)

When I see clearly absurd stuff like this, I tend to wonder whether there are other aspects to the story that we're not being told about.

I'm not judging either way, but is it not a possibility that the 'victim' here is screaming loudly about a single innocuous piece of evidence while failing to mention any of the other relevant details or bits of evidence in the 'case'?

Re:hmm (5, Interesting)

Cauchy (61097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034397)

There was more. The school district where she was a student teacher was the impetus behind this. The district told the university that if she was awarded a teaching certificate, the district would stop using student teachers from the university. I'm guessing that the university felt it needed the school district for the broader good of its other teaching students. I'm not saying the university was right to not fight the district to the death, but clearly it was a more rational choice. The school district, however...

Re:hmm (1, Insightful)

Mr. Droopy Drawers (215436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034499)

References please?

I agree; there's something fishy here. I, too, would like to know more about this.

Anyone got a snapshot of the MySpace page?

Re:hmm (2, Informative)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034497)

Well the university's response is here: http://www.millersville.edu/announcements/snyder.p hp [millersville.edu]

They hint at some other problem which they can't go into because of 'federal student privacy restrictions'. I guess you'd expect them to say something like that though.

Re:hmm (1)

larsroe (966853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034693)

They hint at some other problem which they can't go into because of 'federal student privacy restrictions'.
But if she had other academic problems, why did they grant her an English degree? It seems like a vague statement from the university meant to delay criticisms.

math is hard (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034323)

27 now, 2 years ago ... that makes her? 16? 33? ooooh gosh this is hard...

How is it promoting underage drinking if she was 4 years older than the legal age requirement?

Tom

Re:math is hard (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034461)

Little Johnny could come across his teacher's MySpace page and come to the conclusion that drinking is perfectly acceptable. Although kids usually learn that from their parents first.

Re:math is hard (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034577)

Yeah but that's neither illegal or immoral. As a society we allow and tolerate adults drinking, even, gasp, for recreation.

It'd be like the teacher having a blog talking about her sex life. Are we now to disallow teachers from copulation as well? Well we don't let kids vote either. So teachers shouldn't vote. And most kids can't drive. Therefore no driving, etc...

TEACHERS ARE NOT [supposed to be] KIDS!

Tom

Re:math is hard (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034715)

Yeah but that's neither illegal or immoral.

It is to the fundies.

Damn, I'm old enough to remember when that term only referred to underwear for two.

Re:math is hard (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034659)

Little Johnny could come across his teacher's MySpace page and come to the conclusion that drinking is perfectly acceptable. Although kids usually learn that from their parents first.
Amen to that. Or, the parents let the TV teach their kids that is okay to drink. Considering how dangerous MySpace can be to kids (with the predators), are parents still letting their kids use MySpace to even find this teacher's pic?

Wow. (5, Funny)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034359)

I thought I was the only one who got hammered off those Goodbar shooters. Whew, that's a relief.

Sometimes you need to think about your future (0)

talaski23 (203277) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034373)

When I went to college I was all about having a good time and not once (until my last semester) did I really plan about or think to the future. But I also didn't post my life online. Sometimes that funny moment needs to stay within the group it happened with. Some jobs/careers have requirements that extend outside of your work hours. Educators need to really evaluate each social situation they involve themselves. I'm not saying they can't attend a party, I'm not saying they can't have a drink socially or in public. However, they do need to be careful about "glamorizing" such events. Whether they like it or not many times educators are considered role models. They have certain responsibilities to the children they are trusted with and to the public. I see this as a serious lack of judgement on the woman's behalf. I also see this as a serious abuse of the college's authority. The better resolution would have been to have the woman take an ethics class and/or counsuling to discuss why the page/picture/caption was a really bad idea. I don't think she should be kept from teaching, but it sounds like she does need to grow up a little more.

Re:Sometimes you need to think about your future (2, Insightful)

Megaport (42937) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034413)

For fucks sake, you think she needs counselling or an ethics class over a picture of her in a pirate hat drinking a cup of drink?

-M

Re:Sometimes you need to think about your future (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19034493)

Drinking a cup of drink? Is that like eating a plate of eat or breathing a breath of breathe?

Re:Sometimes you need to think about your future (2, Insightful)

segfault_0 (181690) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034599)

Nonsense, there nothing wrong with drinking or posting a picture of you doing it. The only thing that would justify their claim is if there were children around her during the drinking - in the picture or described in the caption/accompanying text. There is nothing morally wrong with dressing up for Halloween and having a few drinks with friends and sharing your good times with your online friends. If glamorizing is defined as not doing it in a closet with the lights off where no one can see - guess its time to move to Canada cause who wants to live in a country like that. Whoever made this decision should lose their job IMHO. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to find a picture of our current president with a beer in his hand (hint: try google image search, a name, and the word drinking). Hope shes wrings them dry in the courts and uses some of the money to gets drunk on them.

What is the problem? (5, Insightful)

edbob (960004) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034385)

I looked at the picture. I shows an obviously of-legal-drinking-age adult woman in a pirate hat drinking from a plastic cup with no indication of the contents of said cup. How this promotes underage drinking is beyond my ability to comprehend.

Re:What is the problem? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19034523)

It wasn't that picture in particular, it was just that that picture was the only one safe for work. The others show her obviously intoxicated and doing jello-shots off the chest of a well-endowed naked black man.

Informative? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19034727)

Whatever humorless moderator marked the parent comment as 'Informative' ... a little word for you. That loud 'whoosh' sound you keep hearing is the sound a joke makes when it goes zooming over your head.

Re:What is the problem? (1)

PrinceAshitaka (562972) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034611)

The caption for the picture as "drunken pirate". I am not saying that what they did was right but one can assume that there was alcohol in said cup.

Not getting a couple things here... (4, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034401)

  • If the picture is from "Halloween 2005", and she's 27, would she not have been 25 at the time of the photo? How exactly is that promoting "underage" drinking? Am I just really bad at math today, or did they change the drinking age while I wasn't looking?
  • There's not even any clear indication the caption isn't satirical. You can't tell what she's drinking, there are no bottles of liquor anywhere to be seen, and the cup is opaque.
  • Even if she were underage in the photo, and were obviously drinking alcohol, what's that have to do with anything? If you're under the illusion that every teacher in your child's school never touched a drop of alcohol until they were 21, you're deluded, quite dangerously so.

Underage hot chocolate drinking? (4, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034409)

Well.. that's what the cup says anyway. No sign of beer or stronger stuff. It's not even hot coffee.

The only reason I could think of to punish her is for the bad pirate costume, and the fact that the plastic cup is out of character.

It's the cup (2, Funny)

techmuse (160085) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034417)

Isn't it obvious? People who are underage may only drink from clear, plastic bottles! By using a cup, she was promoting drinking from opaque liquid carrying devices.

Re:It's the cup (4, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034625)

Isn't it obvious? People who are underage may only drink from clear, plastic bottles! By using a cup, she was promoting drinking from opaque liquid carrying devices.

And by being a mother of two she is promoting under age sex as well.

drinking.. but what?? (2, Interesting)

Rocketman56 (696476) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034423)

Hmm, there has to be more to the story than the picture..

That's an opaque cup and could contain ANYTHING.. (Even DiHydrogenMonoxide, insidious stuff that it is..)

If the picture is all the University powers-that-be went on.. They deserved to be slammed for everything
she can get out of them.. If there's more to the story, (and NOT fictional documentation by the school),
then she's got another issue.

Good luck to Mrs. Snyder..

Rocketman56

It looks like she should be.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19034449)

laying off the beer for a while, at least 20 pounds while. And now, it's 2 years later?! Whoa, she must be pretty big now!

Sue for Religious Discrimination (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034451)

She just needs to claim she's a Pastafarian [venganza.org] . Arrr!

Ah yes, Pennsylvania (3, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034459)

Where our school taxes run deep, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are leeches and our governor is doing his best to increase the New Jerseyfication of the state.

I've told people for the longest time, any time PA is in the national news, it can't be a good thing.

Personally, I don't agree with Millersville (not too far from me) since the activity took place away from school and the teacher to be, as far as I know, has never advocated to anyone that getting drunk is a good thing.

Further, as others have pointed out, how is she promoting underage drinking if a) she was above the legal drinking age at the time the picture was taken and b) we have no idea what was in her cup.

Besides, if Millersville is going after her because of something she may have done, are they going to rescind degrees from those who have graduated and are later found to be doing something similar or are convicted of other crimes? Say, child molestation, rape or robbery? What if someone posts a picture of themselves in a thong at a party (as a guy) or some skimpy, revealing outfit (for a woman)? Are they going to withhold degrees for that too?

When will people learn. (2, Insightful)

joerdie (816174) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034483)

While I agree that the school is acting outside of there bounds, why is it that people are still so obsessed with posting there "party" pictures on the web?!? Does anyone really care? If all of this says anything to me it's this. Now that the web is made up of "user generated content" it is staring to feel a little too much like MTV. Does anyone remember when the internet and computers where un-cool and we spent all of our time talking about why Picard could kick Kirks ass?

Do you go round ALL your friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19034573)

and show them your pictures, or put them somewhere on a website of yours so that they can see them no matter how far apart you are?

Re:When will people learn. (0, Offtopic)

Peverbian (243571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034687)

Oh come on, Kirk could so kick that wrinkled old Picard ass. And he'd give that smarmy smile while he did it and probably pick up two hot alien chicks, one that's green and one that's red, just 'cause it was Christmas.

Cue the part where... (1)

Optikschmoptik (971793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034501)

Someone gets a +5 for saying

"listen, now that we have the internet, there's no privacy anymore, ok? If you want some hotsy-totsy job or career or livable wage, then stop going out, having a non-Disney social life and letting people take pictures of you, I mean jeez. If I can do it, so can you."

Sorry, I guess I've been reading slashdot(myspace/privacy) discussions for too long. I hope the woman gets the degree she actually worked for. Unfortunately, If the photos are a problem for her students, she'll be the first to know about it.

Only denied Teaching Degree (2, Insightful)

MishgoDog (909105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034505)

Now, I disagree completely with what has happened here, but wanted to clarify some things...

The 'Promoting Underage Drinking' argument isn't about her age, obviously - that's why they didn't block her English degree.

It's because students (you kids can laugh all you want) view teachers as role models - thus if a kid gets on the net, goes 'Hey, miss so-and-so is a drunk!' it changes the perception in their mind slightly that 'drinking is a bad thing'. Hence the promoting-underage-drinking.

Oh, and the article doesn't say this, but I read an article on this (in Australia!?!) a week or three ago, and it mentioned that part of the degree was something to do with 'being of good character'. Which is where their argument, I believe, comes from.
Note: that last paragraph comes from my own, alcohol-abused memory, so it may be slightly off. Lucky I'm not a teacher... oh wait...

Re:Only denied Teaching Degree (1)

GearheadX (414240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034561)

The problem being that 'good character' is not something that one generally hears tell about when you go for a degree. Hell, if good character were an issue 75% of pre-law guys I knew in college would've never graduated.

Re:Only denied Teaching Degree (2, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034629)

"It's because students (you kids can laugh all you want) view teachers as role models - thus if a kid gets on the net, goes 'Hey, miss so-and-so is a drunk!' it changes the perception in their mind slightly that 'drinking is a bad thing'. Hence the promoting-underage-drinking."

When I was at school our chemistry teacher used to swig pure alcohol from the science supplies, and our maths teacher took us to the pub when we were 16 or 17 to celebrate our exam results (legal age is 18 here). So the idea that kids will be irrevocably damaged by seeing a picture of their teacher drinking seems ludicrous to me.

I'm still amazed how puritanical America is compared to Britain (which has become puritanical enough itself in the last few years).

missteps in logic (2, Interesting)

scatbomb (1099255) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034511)

Teacher in training Stacy Snyder was denied her education degree on the eve of graduation when Millersville University apparently found pictures on her MySpace page 'promoting underage drinking.' As a result, the 27-year-old mother of two had her teaching certificate withheld and was granted an English degree instead.
There seems to be a couple missteps in their logic. 1. How does a picture of an adult drinking from a plastic cup while wearing a pirate costume constitute promoting underage drinking? 2. Giving her an English degree instead of a teaching certificate seems like a weird way to punish this offense.

Proof of identity... (1)

Glove d'OJ (227281) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034641)

Can they prove it was her page? Hell, can they prove it was her?


If she has not represented that it was her page (i.e., either in legal documents or with emails that say "hey, look at my mypsace page at http:/// [http] ") can they definitively prove that it was either her page or even a picture of her?


If not, and the certificate prohibition still stands, then I think that a new Fark contest could be photoshopping the administrators who took steps to relieve her of the teaching certificate into, um, "compromising positions."


Heh-heh.

Is this even legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19034669)

Fuck this shit is just amazing.

She did nothing illegal, yet was still denied a license to teach?

Moral Oppression of the people?

Sad.

So when Muslims oppress based on their virtues its bad? But when its done on some crazy fundamentalist christian virtues, its A-OK and cost someone her future job. Ahaha, oh jesus-on-a-stick thats crazy.

Pete Townsend? (2, Funny)

kernel_pat (964314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034515)

I got fired from my job as a kindergarten teacher because I was a part time pete townsend impersonator.

Re:Pete Townsend? (0, Offtopic)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034555)

I laughed real hard when I read that. I can only hope it was true. It's still funny regardless.

Re:Pete Townsend? (0, Offtopic)

kernel_pat (964314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034661)

unfortunatly not, although I wish it was true then I could make FP of slashdot :) BTW to anyone else Pete Townshend is the guitarist from the Who, who is now on the sex offenders register for "researching" child pornography.

Re:Pete Townsend? (0, Offtopic)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034673)

you're stuffed if you were stupid enough to have gotten a Gary Glitter tattoo when Glittermania was all the rage...

If anything ... (1, Insightful)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034517)

If anything, they should have just reminded her to quietly take down the picture, so she would not go through the hell of having her students find out about her 20-something escapades.

But no, when small-town redneck buttfuck USA sees anything that goes against Bible 2.0, you're screwed. If you do anything but suck Jaysus' cock in these towns you're a t'rrist and don't deserve to be treated like one of them.

Shit, I've had some bad photos taken of me. There's probably still a midget with a bondage fetish out there jerking off to that set of pictures.

And they know what she was drinking how? (2, Insightful)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034519)

Looks like a fairly opaque cup to me. Sue the bastards. Then sue the school district for defamation of character. That ought to teach the fundies (and the people who kowtow to them) to mind their own fucking business.

This is Pennsylvania, remember (5, Interesting)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034547)

The place where you can be:

(1) Arrested in the hospital for public drunkenness and underage drinking after you are taken to the hospital for alcohol poisoning a day before your 21st bday. This actually happened to a friend. I guess that it's far better to let students with alcohol poisoning choke on their own vomit than go to the hospital and risk getting arrested.

(2) Arrested for felony riot for telling a cop who had just hit a fellow student in the face at a Red Cross benefit show that he'd be better off helping clean up NYC after 9/11 than harrassing students who ARE actually trying to help. This actually happened to me a few weeks after 9/11/2001, and fucked with my life for the next few years (difficult to get a job, probation basically required for me to move out of state).

In short; to Hell with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the puritanical prigs who seem to run the government and apparently non-governmental organizations as well.

-b.

Image is... something. (0)

blcamp (211756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034549)


In an era of instant information and broader access to it, this lady should have been more careful. Forget the moralistic implications for a minute, because clearly there's nothing immoral about what she did, as an adult.

But for crying out loud. She's trying to be a school teacher... in contact with children. Obviously she wouldn't drink beer and wear a pirate suit in the classroom... but is this the image she wants to communicate with your classroom, who surely will see this at some point in time? How about the parents? How are they going to feel, knowing that she's a party girl? I'm not so sure they would want an "uptight" person as their kid's teacher, but how about someone who might be coming to work all hung over, or at a minimum, "unfocused" on occasion?

Not only should she be thinking about the parents, how about a prospective employer?

If I were a school district, not only would I be thinking about the drinking and partying, I would also be looking at what appears to be an out-and-out "I don't give a damn who sees this" attitude.

I wish her well in the lawsuit, but I think that if she really wants this career, she should take the following steps:

1. Take down all the party stuff from her MySpace page, and anywhere else that portrays her in this unfavorable light.
2. Take a year or two off, let the story fade.
3. Build a new, more serious and mature image.
4. Reassess and if teaching is still in the cards, then pursue it.
5. (No "????") Have fun, have a good career, and enjoy life, just don't be irresponsible and flaunt something that can damage your career and reputation.
6. Profit (from being successful).

Good luck.

So she's punished for doing something legal? (3, Insightful)

AmericanPegasus (1099265) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034671)

Ok, so as I see it, the 'problem' is this: They say they won't give her a teaching degree because the very fact that she was *photographed* with a cup of beer in her hand makes her an unacceptable teacher. You can't do that. This institution cannot impose it's own moral guidelines on it's graduates regarding something that is completely LEGAL. Well, maybe they can, but they can also lose their ACC accreditadion. What if she had been photographed smoking, or watching a rated-R movie, or any other number of legal activites? You can't just deny someone a degree they have worked for years to get, just because you don't approve of their personal choices. I hope she sues the pants off of this college and they award her triple the sum she's asking for. This is blatantly immoral and wrong of the college and I hope they learn their lesson.

would be nice (1)

jzuska (65827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034563)

Would be nice if some other school would step in and issue her a teaching certificate.

Frivolous (0, Offtopic)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034569)

After she's done suing MySpace, she can sue Anheuser Busch for making the beer... ABC showing cool commercials, and so on... I say sue em all. Then sue /. for posting her (by then) copyrighted name without her consent.

Re:Frivolous (0)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034637)

Your post is frivolous because you didn't read the story. She isn't suing MySpace. She is suing the university.

Pennsylvania (5, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034579)

I am from and live in, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has a strange attitude towards alcohol. It is remarkably easy to get a license to serve alcohol yet liquor is a state run enterprise. It is kind of a schizophrenic balance of control and freedom. If only you should have seen the public outcry when the state liquor store was going to have hours on Sunday. I was vaguely amused because many of those in the public outcry, I am sure, went to buy a bottle of wine on Sunday. This girl is going to win her lawsuit, hands down. What Millersville University did was attempt to flex its muscle. In doing so, that attempt just went way too far and will end up generating negative publicity for an otherwise, fine state school. I hope Millersville's administrators are arrogant and blind enough to see this to a public venue. Universities are supposed to be about academic freedom and thought freedom . . .or maybe once upon a time they were. The egregiousness of this is simply shocking.

The longer I live... (5, Funny)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034583)

...the more I understand as to why nobody in Europe wanted those pesky Puritans around and thus kicked them all to the US.

    Sometimes, I really dislike the behavior of some of my fellow Americans.

Denial of Freedom of Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19034647)

Obviously, she's a Pastafarian - pirate costume says it all. She's been touched by his noodly appendage!

And to think that the Flying Spaghetti Monster started as a protest to the Kansas Board of Education... conincidence or cons.piracy? You be the judge!

What We Need (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034667)

Is a "Hooters University". All the teachers are hot chicks who dress skimpy and pass out hot wings between classes.

And we care..why ? (1)

HomeLights (1097581) | more than 7 years ago | (#19034729)

Why is a 25 year old using Myspace anyhow? Maybe she needs to grow up a bit? Suing for $75k - how does she come to this number? She still got a degree. Get over it.
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