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Teacher in Colorado on Leave for Twitter Posts

A teacher from Overland High School in Aurora, Colorado has put herself into an interesting situation. The teacher, Carly McKinney, is just 23 and she teaches math in the Cherry Creek School District. Officials from the district are trying to determine if she can return to the classroom after she tweeted provocative photos of herself and posts about her getting drunk and doing drugs.

According to Fox31, multiple photos were tweeted of a young woman, presumably McKinney, who was topless at times and appeared to be drinking alcohol. Some of the photos display her smoking what appears to be marijuana. One of the posts said that she was high while grading papers, another post talked about the irony of a drug post at school while she had marijuana in her car in the parking lot for the staff.

Her Twitter account, which has been taken down, had the following as her bio: “Stay high. Stay drunk…Mile High City.”

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McKinney spoke to 9News about the account, saying that she and a friend created it as a parody. McKinney also said that she did not know about some of the posts her friend made on her behalf and said she never was on campus with drugs.

Tustin Amole, a spokesperson for the school district, said, “There are things that are troubling to us. However, what we need to do is to talk with her to review our district policy and then determine what our next step will be. Adults can smoke marijuana in Colorado. But it is still against state and federal law to use or possess (marijuana) on school property. Essentially, what we tell our teachers is, ‘If it’s not something that you would say in your classroom, if it’s not something that you would hang on your classroom wall, it should not be on your Facebook or Twitter page. Even on a personal one. We recommend against it. When someone has a personal Facebook, Twitter or other social media account, then the policy is not quite so clear. They have a First Amendment right.”

McKinney has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation unravels. The majority of the tweets were published before or after school hours. Some of the tweets did occur during school hours though and they talked about her job as a teacher.

The school district noted that McKinney will not be permitted to return to the classroom until its investigation is complete. Her father told Fox31 in Denver that she will not be making any public comments about the issue.

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