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Florida professor resigns after offensive Facebook comments

Acccountability for personal opinions made on public social media sites  

1 member has voted

  1. 1. Did she do the right thing by resigning?

    • Yes, she humiliated her school.
    • No. This was her own personal Facebook.
    • I don't know. Freedom of speech comes to mind.

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Florida professor resigns after offensive Facebook comments

By Bill Cotterell40 minutes ago

By Bill Cotterell

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - (Editor's note: Language in paragraphs 3 and 4 may be offensive to some readers.)

A Florida State University professor said she has resigned after making racial and homosexual slurs in a heated Facebook exchange about recent police killings of unarmed blacks.

Deborah O'Connor, an 18-year faculty member of the FSU College of Business, said on Tuesday she was stepping down after several comments she made on Facebook were published by Folio Weekly, a Jacksonville alternative newspaper that contacted FSU about them on Dec. 5.

In a discussion on the social media website, O'Connor referred to "Northern fagoot (sic) elitism" and made disparaging remarks about Muslims.

"Obama has single-handedly turned our once great society into a Ghetto Culture, rivaling that of Europe. France is almost at war because of his filthy rodent Muslims who are attacking Native Frenchmen and women," O'Connor wrote in one response to a stranger on the Facebook thread, which has since been deleted.

O'Connor said she had planned to retire next spring, but brought her decision forward after some of her Facebook comments were forwarded to FSU, a major state-run university in Tallahassee. The school doesn't have an official policy on what faculty can say on social media.

O'Connor said in a letter to the university that the bitter exchange was "the only black mark" on her employment record in the past 40 years.

"I sense that the path of least resistance is for me to resign to forestall a litigation, although I must emphasize that I do not believe the punishment fits the 'crime,'" she wrote.

FSU officials did not comment on the resignation.

O'Connor said she has deleted her Facebook account and will never use the website again.

(Editing By David Adams and Alan Crosby)

Edited by Janelle2002

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