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Teacher Told 'Unfriend' Students On Facebook Quits

Today will be my last day at Stevens High, Thebarge wrote last week. I was given an ultimatum. To either delete every student from my Facebook page, and do not post pictures of them (they always loved this) or be terminated.

This was the announcement teacher Carol Thebarge, 79, recently made after being told by administrators that she had to "unfriend" students on her page.

Known as Mrs "T" to many, Thebarge noted that administrators first asked her to unfriend students several years ago. However, after students started asking why they were deleted, she simply hid her friends list so that school officials could not see it. She eventually reversed her decision to hide the list, and she said officials had left her alone about the issue until recently.

The students have loved my site, Thebarge wrote in her post. I have loved to share pictures of my cats, my grand-children's achievements, and the wisdom I have gained throughout my journey.

Administrators took renewed interest in Thebarges Facebook after another teacher at the school, Christopher LeBlanc, was arrested for having an inappropriate relationship with a student.

The schools social media policy does not allow for teachers to be friends with students on Facebook.

Claremont School District superintendent Middleton McGoodwin said that he asked Thebarge to reconsider her decision to leave but stressed she would have to comply with the rules.

In truth, being a caring, lovely woman doesnt give you immunity to ignore a school board policy thats designed to protect everyone, he said.

Some students were trying to get the sub-job back for her.

She wasnt harming anybody, student Kayla Jennison said. She was a great person and always helped us.

On Facebook, Thebarge later said she was not asked to reconsider. She also thanked the members of the community for their support.

I honor the comments that disagree with this difficult decision, for I also recognize the inherent dangers within social networking, Thebarge wrote in a Facebook post. But I further recognize that the blanket policy intended to protect the children, also holds the subtle message that all teachers cannot be trusted to communicate with their students outside the classroom.