Published On: Thu, Jul 5th, 2012

Bradenton teacher calls student ‘evolutionary link between orangutans and humans’ on Facebook

Controversy is looming large in Manatee County, Florida after some teachers from a local elementary school openly mocked at least one student on the social network, Facebook.

Screen shot of Facebook login page

According to a Bradenton Herald report Wednesday, in mid-May, a teacher made some disparaging comments about an 8-year-old student on her Facebook wall, in which at least seven other teachers chimed in. Now Manatee County school officials are trying to figure out how to deal with it.

The Facebook conversation, obtained by Bay News 9 from the mother of the child in question, Lisa Wade, starts out with the following comment by Rogers Garden Elementary School music teacher, Lauren Orban, ”I’m fairly convinced that one of my students may be the evolutionary link between orangutans and humans.”

Seven people liked that comment and a handful of people responded, including other teachers.

One teacher responded asking, “Please tell me who you are talking about.  This made me laugh out loud.”

The teacher replied by saying, “W.W. Does that help?”

The conversation came to a sudden halt when Jauana Johnson, the school registrar, jumped in to write, “What the hell is that suppose to mean?”

According to the Herald, the other teachers who took part in the conversation include Emma Disley, Laura Beth Cross, Jan Austin, Tim Brown, Lauren Crosby, Becky LaRowe Garcia, Joanne McIntyre and Brad Monroe.

The conversation was soon after deleted.

Now Lisa Wade wants to know what the school district is going to do about it. How will the teacher(s) be disciplined for essentially calling her child the “missing link”?

Margi Nanney of the Manatee County School District  told Bay News 9, “First of all, that was very inappropriate and we certainly do not condone anything like that.”

“I think lessons come hard in this life and I think social media is one of the places where people can make mistakes and we hope this never occurs again,” she added.

A disgusted Wade said, ”I send my child to school trusting them to teach him, not to talk about him.”

Schools Superintendent Tim McGonegal is sending the case to the Professional Practices Commission at the state Department of Education, despite the fact the teachers have already been verbally disciplined by the school’s principal.

This of course doesn’t fly right with Lisa Wade who said she  is not satisfied with just a verbal reprimand for the teachers involved.

“If this is how teachers are talking on Facebook, who’s to say what goes on in the classroom? My child is in school to learn, not to be bullied or talked about. Those teachers need some more training, and they need to be at least suspended without pay.”

It is reported that Wade has sought legal counsel.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63


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