With less than 140 characters, one Maryland public school employee is out of the job. Her crime: Correcting a student’s spelling on Twitter.
Katie Nash, social media coordinator for Frederick County Public Schools, was handling the system’s social media accounts earlier this month when a student tweeted the @FCPSMaryland account about the snow forecast, asking on Jan. 5 if school would be cancelled “tammarow.”
In response to the comment, Nash, using the official FCPS account, tweeted back, “But then how would you learn how to spell ‘tomorrow?’ :)”
Aware of the school system’s efforts to better interact with students on social media, Nash thought the comment would be received well by students, who were excited about the possibility of a snow day.
“The students were tweeting back and forth, so it just sort of provided a natural opportunity to respond, in a fun, light-hearted way,” she told WHAG-TV.
But apparently, the tweet was not seen that way by administrators. The post was reportedly deleted shortly after it was published and the system’s director of communications reached out to the student to apologize.
Despite the fact that the student said he had no problem with Nash’s original tweet, the FCPS administrators decided to fire the social media coordinator.
Before being taken down, the tweet had garnered more than 1,000 retweets and 1,000 likes, according to WHAG. Nash even became the subject of two hashtags — #KatiefromFCPS and #freekatie — on students’ Twitter feeds.
Nash, for her part, said she hopes the incident is a learning opportunity for the school system.