Staff member terminated after tweet about misspelling goes viral


A staff member of the Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland was terminated after a tweet about a misspelling between a student and the employee went viral.

At the end of a four minute meeting, 34-year-old Katie Nash said she was terminated from her job.

A letter from Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS), read, “Dear Katie,  this letter confirms our discussion today that your probation period as a Web Experience Coordinator for Frederick County Public Schools will not be extended. You will be terminated from your assignment effective January 13, 2017.”

Nash said she was terminated on Friday.

“We had received feedback from some students in a focus group that our tweeting was a bit flat, they were looking for some more engagement,” Nash said. “They were looking for us to tweet back at them and I really took that to heart because I know that I am a little bit older and maybe not as hip as some of the student’s are, so I took that to heart and I took that feedback in.” 

On Jan. 5, Frederick County was preparing for snow, so one student tweeted, “close school tammarow PLEASE,” but as you can see tomorrow is not spelled correctly. FCPS tweeted back, “but then how would you spell tomorrow 🙂 .”

“It just sort of an opportunity to respond and do so in a fun lighthearted way,” said Nash.

Most of the community thought the tweet was funny, but officials with FCPS told Nash to delete the tweet.

Michael Doerrer, the Director of Communications, Community Engagement and Marketing with FCPS, said FCPS personally apologized to the student.

“When they had reached out and when the community overwhelming saw it, for what it was just lighthearted banter and trying to engage with the students on their level,” said Nash.

Despite it all, Nash hopes that FCPS learns from what has happened and the power of social media.

“Out of this entire experience, that something really positive comes out of this because I think the community has sort of been looking at this and various reactions, most positive, but I really am sincere and I hope FCPS thinks how can we use social media to engage going forward,” said Nash.

Nash said she will continue to be a part of schools functions like the school’s PTA.

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