A judge has ruled that a teacher who posted a Facebook rant about how her uncontrollable students should drown can return to the classroom.
Veteran New York City teacher Christine Rubino was left fighting for her job after the social networking tirade in March of last year.
The Facebook posting came the day after a 12-year-old Harlem schoolgirl drowned during a class trip to a Long Island beach.
Unruly: Teacher Christine Rubino posted a rant about her fifth-graders at PS 203 in Brooklyn on her Facebook page
She posted: ‘After today, I’m thinking the beach is a good trip for my class. I hate their guts.’
Minutes later, according to the New York Post, a Facebook friend asked: ‘Wouldn’t you throw a life jacket to little Kwami?’
The 38-year teacher at PS 203 in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Flatlands, replied: ‘No I wouldn’t for a million dollars.’
In a shocking development last week, Judge Barbara Jaffe struck down the school’s decision to fire the woman from her $78,885 job.
The judge ruled that Rubino did not mean to cause her students actual injury and the remarks did not hinder her ability to teach, the New York Post reported.
Rubino had admitted she made the posting ‘out of pure anger’ at her students’ rowdy behaviour last June, but claims it was private and only meant to be seen by her Facebook friends.
One of those ‘friends’ was reported to be fellow teacher David Senatore who copied and e-mailed the message to assistant principal Bryan Sadowski.
Victim: Nicole Suriel drowned after she was swept away by a riptide on a Long Island beach
After a six-month investigation, Rubino told officials that others had access to her Facebook account.
A friend later claimed to have posted the rant, but later recanted the statement.
Rubino’s lawyer, Bryan Glass, told the Post: ‘A simple warning to Ms Rubino about her mistake would have sufficed, and it would not have been repeated.
He added: Perhaps in this time of scarce resources, the substantial time and money on this case could be better allocated by the [Department of Education] supporting its teachers in the classroom rather than demonizing and punishing its staff.’
Sixth-grader Nicole Suriel, 12, was one of a group of students from Columbia Secondary School on a trip to a Long Island beach, which was closed and had no lifeguards on duty.
She was swept out to sea by a riptide and found 90 minutes later.
Rubino told The Post, ‘It was something I said out of anger. I would never take my class to the beach. I would never hurt them.’
Rubino said her class was ‘out of control’ that week, their last in elementary school, ‘spitting on each other, kicking each other, putting gum in each other’s hair.’
She added: ‘It’s a witch hunt. ‘I like my job. I’m good at it. That’s all they should worry about.’