Ohio middle school teacher Melissa Cairns is in hot water – and could potentially be fired from her job – after she allegedly posted a Facebook photo of her students’ mouths duct-taped shut in a classroom.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the board of education gave Cairns, a math teacher at Buchtel Community Learning Center, until Saturday to respond to the allegations.
The school district said Cairns posted the photo showing eight or nine of her 16 students with duct tape over their mouths, with a caption that read: "Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!"
Sarah Hollander, a spokeswoman for the school board, told the Ohio newspaper that a colleague or friend of Cairns’ notified a supervisor who then notified the school. The principal, Sonya Gordon, also alerted parents and requested that Cairns delete the photo, which was believed to have been taken in either September or October.
Cairns was placed on paid leave on Oct. 19. The school board voted on Jan. 14 to pursue potentially terminating Cairns, who was hired by the district in 2007.
The board will vote on Jan. 28 whether or not the duct-tape photo is an offense warranting termination. The school will enlist the help of a referee to “answer the question ‘did the offense rise to the level of a termination?’” the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Cairns is a Kent State graduate and the founder of "On My Own Two Feet," an organization that aims to raise awareness about domestic violence.
“If we want to change the world, we have to start in our own homes,” Cairns’ LinkedIn profile read. “As a survivor of domestic abuse, this became my cause, my focus, my inspiration. This mission of this organization is to empower survivors of abuse and to heal them physically, mentally and spiritually.”