Carly McKinney is vulgar, stupid, and utterly lacking in judgment. Let’s just stipulate that here and now.
Anyone who doesn’t even try to stay masked when misbehaving deserves what she gets. Anonymity was good enough for the Federalists, for chrissake.
Better known the world as CarlyCrunkBear, a twitter handle that tells you everything you would ever need to know about this charming person, Miss McKinney is the public highschool teacher who used social media to explore her love of marijuana, announce she graded papers while stoned, boast about how little work she was doing at work, and post topless photos.
Why, Carly, you classy little pothead.
Nothing she did was illegal. Let’s also just stipulate that. And let’s also stipulate that protecting free speech as a principle requires that we extend free speech to common little idiots. Just because I’m not advocating jailing her does not mean I respect her. Also, she teaches in a school funded by my tax dollars. Therefore, I am going to weigh on on the bimbo of pre-algebra.
Whether she made any of those posts from school networks and laptops, took any of those pictures on school grounds, or was actually high at work are yet to be determined. I’m more concerned that a public servant has put herself in the position where there will be a public inquiry into the setting for her nude pics. My god, you little moron, do you know nothing about how to hide your freak side?
She has completely surrendered her credibility to her students and to her peers. The woman has no discretion, though becoming a national laughingstock/masturbation fantasy at age 23 may be a great lesson in getting there.
What she does on her own time is her own business, but many of her tweets boast about playing online when she’s supposed to be working. And one tweet where she reports that someone who gave her a sexual nickname is “still jailbait” may be about a student. I have no doubt school administrators are going to link an IP address to every word that wound up on Carly’s now defunct Twitter feed and sort all that out.
But I don’t think she’ll pay.
She’s already yelping that the entire thing was meant to be a parody. Also, according to Carly, an unnamed friend had the login to the account and is the one who posted all the bawdy stuff, which Carly somehow failed to notice until school administrators saw the feed. Perhaps she was drunk. Or busy being naked.
Now, I will share with all you kids right now that I have something of an Achilles Tendon when it comes to people who inform me they’re engaging in parody, or sarcasm, or satire, when they clearly have no idea what any of those terms actually mean. However, Carly taught math, not writing, and her online presence is hardly the stuff of the Great American story. She wasn’t engaging in parody, because a parody presupposes thought and intelligence in crafting a message. “Naked. Wet. Stoned.” isn’t a brilliant parody, or even a mediocre parody. It’s the tag line for a skin flick.
Obviously, the union will fight to get her out of any repercussions. They’ve defended worse.
And, if she does lose her job, some buffoonish outfit will probably snap her up and wrongly present her as some sort of Free -Speech-Martyr-cum-Floozy. She’s already something of a hero.
The mistake she and her burgeoning army of supporters make is to think that enjoying liberty somehow requires being needlessly, cheaply provocative, bragging about questionable conduct, and vomiting up every inane little thought. Liberty requires protecting the rights of those who do, because no one should be allowed to use the force of law to push their ideas of right conduct on others.
The First Amendment protects her from being jailed, fine, tortured, executed, stripped of her property, or stripped of her citizenship because the state doesn’t like what she says. That’s better than how most people on this planet live right now. And it protects her from retaliation if she peacefully expresses her own opinion. The First Amendment is not though, carte blanche to do anything with impunity. Arguably, as a teacher, she had a higher duty to watch the image she presented to her students.
Too many people misunderstand the First as a hammer that guarantees no one will ever face an unpleasant effect as a result of their speech. And, too many people think they have some sort of immunity against anyone getting angry with them for their speech. I’m already tired of people who publicly post inflammatory things and then treat us all to the panoply of indignation and surprise when those comments are found and have their intended effect.
I suppose Carly is the epitome of the first generation who have no memory of a world without Internet and got their first social media accounts in middle school. One thing that frightens me is that people who have been online all their lives have less, not more, sense about how online behavior can come back to bite you.
In laying praise at her feet, we muddy the waters. Yes, liberty means you may do as you like. And that you take the consequences for your actions. In her case, that would mean a severely damaged professional reputation and diminished opportunities.
If you want to champion freedom of expression, find someone who was truly persecuted for saying something powerful people didn’t like. That’s not what’s going on with Carly. She’s a fool who divested herself of discretion and respectability that is central to her job.
School officials and parents are utterly right to question if her judgment is adequate to remain in an authority position over children, or if her students could ever see her as anything other than the perennially toked up teacher who would probably fuck them. There are plenty of fields to go into if you feel the need to publish your indiscretions under your real name. Like opinion writing. Or pornography.
Now, thanks to this little strumpet, every employee of the public schools will likely be in for hours of useless social media and communication training – the stuff that is unnecessary for some and pointless for others. But school administrators must be seen to be doing something. Clearly, they have failed in hiring responsible educators and they were obviously unable to get a handle on crunky Carly before she made national news. I will suggest that if they don’t deliver a real disciplinary action to this overgrown child, they’ll get more of the same.
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