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View Full Version : Norwegian teacher loses his job for posting a July 22nd joke of Facebook


DahLliA
02-10-2012, 02:25 PM
Google translates (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&twu=1&u=http://www.dagbladet.no/2012/02/10/nyheter/innenriks/ringsaker/lerer/oppsigelser/20167520/&usg=ALkJrhiD5AMAaSg0p13KSGxjDRrq_68PPw)

so what's your take on this? teacher's answer and a lawyer's perspective at the bottom.

I'll add to the story that the teacher in question has also been making violent rape-videos(fake of course) on his spare time.

tried discussing with the people on my FB when I posted the link. but they just see ABB's name and then the raging PC-glasses come on and they just stop reading anything you write that isn't exactly what they think is right.

so. I can see the point that since he's a teacher he should moderate his opinions a bit.

but why are kids that young running around on the internet on their own?

and is it really freedom of speech if you lose your job if you have the wrong opinions?

and thirdly. from what I've read he was a good teacher. so why should what he does outside of work have anything to say?

I'm of course of the opinion that people need to stop taking words and opinions so seriously. if you don't like it. stop listening or stop reading.

but I've come to the realization that I'm the exception and not the rule when it comes to that :p

Teacher's answer to the newspaper (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&twu=1&u=http://www.dagbladet.no/2012/02/10/nyheter/innenriks/anders_behring_breivik/lerer/oppsigelser/20174013/&usg=ALkJrhjVrGZXGrR1hb8yngeNSJ098VJwGg)

some lawyer says stuff (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&twu=1&u=http://www.dagbladet.no/2012/02/10/nyheter/innenriks/breivik/lerer/ringsaker/20170353/&usg=ALkJrhjtvjMlPNH6T6dbgwJR_K43eM24dw)

DahLliA
02-10-2012, 02:30 PM
crap. this was gonna go in Non-WoT. I don't suppose I have the power to move it from here?

EDIT: seems I do >=D

Ivhon
02-10-2012, 03:10 PM
I note that he has not been incarcerated for either his facebook posts or his videos. In the US, that is the extent of protection of free speech. It does not mean that you cannot be fired for expressing viewpoints that are antithetical to the employer.

In this case, I would be more concerned that a person who teaches young children uses his spare time to create amateur rape videos (simulated or not). I would certainly not want such a person in a position of influence with my children - especially my BOY children because it my glorify rape to a cognitively/morally undeveloped brain.

That said, he has a right to express his opinions and hobbies without being thrown in jail. But not without consequence whatsoever. As I say, if I were on the school board or whatever the body is that has the power, I would fire him in a heartbeat. With that much controversy, he cannot do an effective job teaching. No parents will want him around their kids and I sure as hell don't want the headache of having to deal with all the parents that are riled up about what he says and does. As an employer, I should not be forced to put up with that just because he believes something.

SauceyBlueConfetti
02-10-2012, 03:22 PM
No parents will want him around their kids and I sure as hell don't want the headache of having to deal with all the parents that are riled up about what he says and does. As an employer, I should not be forced to put up with that just because he believes something.

Agreed. The translation may be flaky, but his comment that it is the parents job to keep his movies out of kid's hands...well, yeah. And that is what they are doing by telling you goodbye. So long and thanks for all the fish.

AbbeyRoad
02-10-2012, 04:57 PM
Sure, he can legally post fake rape videos or support messages for terrorists online without being charged of a crime. Sure, his employer can fire him for that. You can have whatever opinions you want. If you express opinions that can potentially hurt your employer's business on a public forum (i.e. "rape is funny" while working with small children every day), it is in your employer's best interest to terminate you immediately to protect their business. After all, words are the weapons with which ideas are fought. You have a right to free speech, but you do not have a right to your job. You have a right to work, but there is a difference.

Gilshalos Sedai
02-10-2012, 05:03 PM
Google translates (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&twu=1&u=http://www.dagbladet.no/2012/02/10/nyheter/innenriks/ringsaker/lerer/oppsigelser/20167520/&usg=ALkJrhiD5AMAaSg0p13KSGxjDRrq_68PPw)

so what's your take on this? teacher's answer and a lawyer's perspective at the bottom.

I'll add to the story that the teacher in question has also been making violent rape-videos(fake of course) on his spare time.

tried discussing with the people on my FB when I posted the link. but they just see ABB's name and then the raging PC-glasses come on and they just stop reading anything you write that isn't exactly what they think is right.

so. I can see the point that since he's a teacher he should moderate his opinions a bit.

but why are kids that young running around on the internet on their own?

and is it really freedom of speech if you lose your job if you have the wrong opinions?

and thirdly. from what I've read he was a good teacher. so why should what he does outside of work have anything to say?

I'm of course of the opinion that people need to stop taking words and opinions so seriously. if you don't like it. stop listening or stop reading.

but I've come to the realization that I'm the exception and not the rule when it comes to that :p

Teacher's answer to the newspaper (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&twu=1&u=http://www.dagbladet.no/2012/02/10/nyheter/innenriks/anders_behring_breivik/lerer/oppsigelser/20174013/&usg=ALkJrhjVrGZXGrR1hb8yngeNSJ098VJwGg)

some lawyer says stuff (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&twu=1&u=http://www.dagbladet.no/2012/02/10/nyheter/innenriks/breivik/lerer/ringsaker/20170353/&usg=ALkJrhjtvjMlPNH6T6dbgwJR_K43eM24dw)

The bolded ALONE would get his ass fired here. No matter what else he did.

DahLliA
02-10-2012, 05:40 PM
I guess it's only natural. but I love how all of you are taking the videos more seriously than the joke.

so far no one here in Norway that I've talked to has even mentioned them.

like I said. ABB's name has the same effect on people that a red cloth has on a bull it seems.

but yeah. I totally agree with the school's right to fire him.

but I don't agree with the parents getting so butthurt over the joke(which seems to be by far the worst thing to them, seeing as he's been making the movies for quite a while as I understand it).

I think it's pretty hypocritical since right after July 22nd "everyone" agreed that more openess, freedom and discussion would be the way to fight extremism.

and now someone makes a joke and he's the new national hate-object overnight.

tworiverswoman
02-10-2012, 06:11 PM
Probably because the translation is so iffy it's hard for us Americans to make out what the joke actually IS.
"I hope the Labor Party again sets out AUF-ers on Utøya in the coming year, and that the year offers yet another hunting season out there" and "GodGunsAndGlory (Breivik, editor.) Makes a good figure on TV" Perhaps there's something in the context that makes this a "joke" but I'm not seeing it here. For a schoolteacher to make a post like this is dumb on so many levels I wouldn't want him in charge of kids just to save them from the stupid. The way this reads he's ADVOCATING taking potshots at more kids. Why is that supposed to be funny to anyone?

As for his videos, according to the article he was ALREADY on suspension because of them - and yeah, a teacher making violent rape videos isn't someone I want in charge of a group of kids. I'm sure he keeps that kind of stuff isolated to his private life (I doubt seriously he has a "show-and-tell" session at school...) but frankly, it seems to me to be one of the danger signs of someone who's bad news. He may be a perfectly decent guy other than this one quirk, but it's a HELL of a quirk.

His personal taste in movie posters seems to lean heavily to the violent, as well.

It's not a straight-forward link of "likes fantasy violence, danger to others" but it's quite likely to be ONE of the danger signs. He comments that his post "wasn't meant for everyone's eyes" which just makes him even stoopider to me. He's one of the people who should be WARNING his students that posting assinine stuff on the net will bite you where the sun don't shine, not posting stupid stuff himself!

They were perfectly correct to ask for his resignation.

Davian93
02-10-2012, 06:40 PM
July 22nd changed everything.


Sorry, 22 July changed everything (dont want to rile up the Europeans with the American date format)

Terez
02-10-2012, 06:40 PM
I agree; it seems less a joke to me than an advocation to repeat the crime. Incitement to violence.

Davian93
02-10-2012, 06:42 PM
I agree; it seems less a joke to me than an advocation to repeat the crime. Incitement to violence.

In all seriousness, he deserved to get fired. Free speech is great...its why he's not in jail. It doesnt mean there arent consequences to one's words.

Uno
02-10-2012, 07:02 PM
Well, Dahl will probably know what I mean when I point out that Norwegian humour can be somewhat more rough than what's generally acceptable in the US, but this case is in clear violation of the Being Bloody Stupid Act, so he deserves to be fired for being an idiot, I'd say.

Sukoto
02-10-2012, 07:22 PM
I hope you have all learned the valuable lesson that Google Translate is NOT an acceptable substitute for a professional linguist. And now I'm done plugging the translation industry.

Back on topic: I agree with what has been said. My employer wouldn't think twice about firing me if I became a massive PR liability. Good luck to the young teacher on finding a new job.

EDIT: It looks like the teacher, Kjetil Wangen, doesn't make "fake rape videos." The articles makes it seem like he has, in the past, made amateur videos that depicted extreme violence and rape. The way Dahlia said it made it sound like he made fake rape videos as some sort of fetish, instead of making rated "R" films. Calling yourself an amateur producer of violent films isn't quite as bad as having a rape fetish, although neither is especially appropriate for an elementary school teacher.

lord Mordeth
02-11-2012, 03:28 AM
EDIT: It looks like the teacher, Kjetil Wangen, doesn't make "fake rape videos."

Say it ain't so...

Lupusdeusest
02-11-2012, 07:06 AM
That's somewhat... creepy. In Aus I know teachers must be model citizens - one whiff of something inappropriate and you're gone.





Thinking about the real world on here disturbs me still.

DahLliA
02-11-2012, 10:52 AM
the "joke"(I didn't find it funny either and I usually laugh at bad-taste jokes like that) is in the same vein as "How do you get 30 jews into a car?" and stuff like that.

and yeah. it's not the losing his job that I have issues with. it's all the hypocrisy from the media and normal people.

I know several who laugh their ass off at any bad-taste jokes about other disasters, but now that Norwegians have died they get all fired up and it's completely impossible to have a decent discussion about anything anymore.

Firseal
02-11-2012, 10:54 AM
Thinking about the real world on here disturbs me still.

If the real world cannot disturb you, you've never been there.

Sinistrum
02-11-2012, 10:58 AM
I note that he has not been incarcerated for either his facebook posts or his videos. In the US, that is the extent of protection of free speech. It does not mean that you cannot be fired for expressing viewpoints that are antithetical to the employer.

In this case, I would be more concerned that a person who teaches young children uses his spare time to create amateur rape videos (simulated or not). I would certainly not want such a person in a position of influence with my children - especially my BOY children because it my glorify rape to a cognitively/morally undeveloped brain.

That said, he has a right to express his opinions and hobbies without being thrown in jail. But not without consequence whatsoever. As I say, if I were on the school board or whatever the body is that has the power, I would fire him in a heartbeat. With that much controversy, he cannot do an effective job teaching. No parents will want him around their kids and I sure as hell don't want the headache of having to deal with all the parents that are riled up about what he says and does. As an employer, I should not be forced to put up with that just because he believes something.

This. What people constantly fail to realize is that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the social consequences of speech. It just means you can't be thrown in jail or otherwise deprived of liberty for speaking your mind by the government.

GonzoTheGreat
02-11-2012, 11:41 AM
the "joke"(I didn't find it funny either and I usually laugh at bad-taste jokes like that) is in the same vein as "How do you get 30 jews into a car?" and stuff like that.
If someone told that joke as a kid, that would not be a valid reason to fire him now that he is grown up. But if he tells it when he is a teacher with a number of Jewish children in his class, things are different.

tworiverswoman
02-11-2012, 07:11 PM
"Social consequences" is a good phrase. "Free Speech" just means the government isn't going to muzzle you. It says NOTHING about your fellow citizens.

And I still contend that the original intent of that clause was to protect the use of ANTI-GOVERNMENT speech - not random vileness. Its meaning has been widened considerably over the last century.

I cannot understand how a man who's smart enough to become a teacher can be ignorant enough to post inflammatory crap on the internet, and claim that it wasn't supposed to become known outside his "friends" list. How could he be that ... asinine?

Uno
02-11-2012, 07:44 PM
"Social consequences" is a good phrase. "Free Speech" just means the government isn't going to muzzle you. It says NOTHING about your fellow citizens.

And I still contend that the original intent of that clause was to protect the use of ANTI-GOVERNMENT speech - not random vileness. Its meaning has been widened considerably over the last century.


However, whatever the US constitution says is completely irrelevant to this case. What matters is Norwegian law, which explicitly protects speech of all kinds, unless there are especially pressing considerations why it should be restricted, which the police held was not the case here. Indeed, they held that this distasteful joke was well within the parameters of the law.

Furthermore, the man was a municipal employee, which means that he was working for the government. And even if he wasn't, labour laws protect employees from having their contracts terminated on frivolous grounds. Disliking someone's private opinions expressed outside of the workplace might indeed be considered just that.

Ivhon
02-11-2012, 10:57 PM
However, whatever the US constitution says is completely irrelevant to this case. What matters is Norwegian law, which explicitly protects speech of all kinds, unless there are especially pressing considerations why it should be restricted, which the police held was not the case here. Indeed, they held that this distasteful joke was well within the parameters of the law.

Furthermore, the man was a municipal employee, which means that he was working for the government. And even if he wasn't, labour laws protect employees from having their contracts terminated on frivolous grounds. Disliking someone's private opinions expressed outside of the workplace might indeed be considered just that.

Of course Norwegian law is what matters. Do I understand you that Norwegian laws protects free speech against social and civil consequences? I am free to call my boss any kind of nasty name up to, including and beyond "son of a motherless goat" and still keep my job? I can say "I would never act on it, but I really love to fantasize about beating children" and expect to keep my teaching job? If that's the case, so be it. But in my book that would chalk up as one of those head-shaking stupid situations (Don't get me wrong - by and large I think that ________ Scandinavian country is lightyears ahead of the US on most counts. However, nobody is immune to having stupid laws on the books).

Uno
02-11-2012, 11:15 PM
Of course Norwegian law is what matters. Do I understand you that Norwegian laws protects free speech against social and civil consequences? I am free to call my boss any kind of nasty name up to, including and beyond "son of a motherless goat" and still keep my job? I can say "I would never act on it, but I really love to fantasize about beating children" and expect to keep my teaching job? If that's the case, so be it. But in my book that would chalk up as one of those head-shaking stupid situations (Don't get me wrong - by and large I think that ________ Scandinavian country is lightyears ahead of the US on most counts. However, nobody is immune to having stupid laws on the books).

I imagine you're being deliberately dumb to test my patience, so I'll try to restrain myself. Insulting your boss might be work-related harassment--and the same would go for your boss insulting you--and would fall under rules and regulations covering that issue. You'd probably be surprised, though, how little deference Norwegians show to bosses and the like, so mere name-calling would rarely amount to any kind of issue.

As to working with children, I imagine contractual provisions would cover that kind of thing. There are generally special rules when children are involved. But in general, yes, you can't just fire someone because you dislike his or her opinions. We have laws and we have labour unions. Of course, I realize that employees having rights is not a concept you're familiar with.

Ivhon
02-11-2012, 11:37 PM
I imagine you're being deliberately dumb to test my patience, so I'll try to restrain myself. Insulting your boss might be work-related harassment--and the same would go for your boss insulting you--and would fall under rules and regulations covering that issue. You'd probably be surprised, though, how little deference Norwegians show to bosses and the like, so mere name-calling would rarely amount to any kind of issue.

As to working with children, I imagine contractual provisions would cover that kind of thing. There are generally special rules when children are involved. But in general, yes, you can't just fire someone because you dislike his or her opinions. We have laws and we have labour unions. Of course, I realize that employees having rights is not a concept you're familiar with.

No need to get testy. I was not being deliberately dumb to test your patience. I was presenting somewhat extreme examples to get clarification on what I thought you were saying.

How about a perhaps more "intelligent" scenario to further clarify. Say I work at a bank. The bank as a corporation expresses typical banking values - we are conservative with your money, we have a culture of propriety, etc., etc. Could I - as a teller or some other public face type of employee - show up to work in a big ol' bushy blond Norwegian beard, tee shirt and jeans (not yet having had the opportunity to bank in Norway, perhaps this is not unusual attire, I am assuming that most folks working in banks wear conservative attire)? Publicly rail against the corruption of the banking industry, including my own employer?

I understand that there are unions and probably no such thing as an at-will contract. However, is there no such thing as "representing the values of the company?" at all?

And yes. I am well-aware of and actually quite support the concept of employee rights.

Uno
02-11-2012, 11:46 PM
No need to get testy. I was not being deliberately dumb to test your patience. I was presenting somewhat extreme examples to get clarification on what I thought you were saying.

How about a perhaps more "intelligent" scenario to further clarify. Say I work at a bank. The bank as a corporation expresses typical banking values - we are conservative with your money, we have a culture of propriety, etc., etc. Could I - as a teller or some other public face type of employee - show up to work in a big ol' bushy blond Norwegian beard, tee shirt and jeans (not yet having had the opportunity to bank in Norway, perhaps this is not unusual attire, I am assuming that most folks working in banks wear conservative attire)? Publicly rail against the corruption of the banking industry, including my own employer?

I understand that there are unions and probably no such thing as an at-will contract. However, is there no such thing as "representing the values of the company?" at all?

That would be yet another an example of things done at work. Things taking place at the actual workplace would typically be covered in a contract in which the employee agrees to follow the rules and regulations of the firm. This is pretty basic stuff. The same goes for speech. You can obviously get fired for expressing unsavory opinions while at work, because that will fall under rules about workplace conduct--creating a hostile work environment or whatever--but expressing them outside of work is another matter entirely. Or do you think a bank employee should be fired for wearing a t-shirt in his spare time?

Criticizing the industry you're working in is completely legitimate, although your contract might have provisions about that kind of issue, too. If you criticize your own employer, you may be violating confidentiality agreements, for instance. Or there might be other provisions covered in the contract about loyalty to the firm. A lot depends on the contract, but there's certainly no general gag regarding opinions your employer may happen to dislike.

Ivhon
02-12-2012, 12:33 AM
That would be yet another an example of things done at work. Things taking place at the actual workplace would typically be covered in a contract in which the employee agrees to follow the rules and regulations of the firm. This is pretty basic stuff. The same goes for speech. You can obviously get fired for expressing unsavory opinions while at work, because that will fall under rules about workplace conduct--creating a hostile work environment or whatever--but expressing them outside of work is another matter entirely. Or do you think a bank employee should be fired for wearing a t-shirt in his spare time?

Criticizing the industry you're working in is completely legitimate, although your contract might have provisions about that kind of issue, too. If you criticize your own employer, you may be violating confidentiality agreements, for instance. Or there might be other provisions covered in the contract about loyalty to the firm. A lot depends on the contract, but there's certainly no general gag regarding opinions your employer may happen to dislike.

Ok... this becomes more clear. I guess I got hung up on:

What matters is Norwegian law, which explicitly protects speech of all kinds, unless there are especially pressing considerations why it should be restricted

Seems to cover, well...all speech. Especially when contrasted with the US situation. "Especially pressing" comes across as "very rare." From what you are telling me, the contractual limitations can be quite extensive and pragmatically cover a lot - granted not all - of the grounds of "at will employment (which, as you know, is not nearly as carefree as it sounds or as employers would like it. You still have to have demonstrable grounds for termination in most cases or face a "wrongful firing" action).

labour laws protect employees from having their contracts terminated on frivolous grounds. Disliking someone's private opinions expressed outside of the workplace might indeed be considered just that.

At what point does a private opinion become public? Op-Eds, Facebook, shouting from across the bank on a day off all seem to me to be voluntarily shifting one's private views to public. My opinion means squat in the face of the laws of whatever land the debate occurs in - but I guess that is what the crux of my questioning comes to. "Conduct unbecoming" is a handy catchall over here. What I think you are saying is that "conduct unbecoming" does not exist so much in Norway, rather all conceivable items of unbecoming conduct are enumerated in the contract and so long as you are not in violation of any of those specific conducts....have at it.

Uno
02-12-2012, 12:51 AM
What I think you are saying is that "conduct unbecoming" does not exist so much in Norway, rather all conceivable items of unbecoming conduct are enumerated in the contract and so long as you are not in violation of any of those specific conducts....have at it.

Well, I'm not an expert on contractual law, but in general there's a pretty tight separation between home and work for ordinary employees. And you are, of course, allowed to criticize your employer in public, otherwise union reps could not possibly do their jobs. Beyond that, employers can put any number of things into contracts, but if these contractual provisions are in violation of laws governing labour relations, they're obviously illegal and therefore not binding. Some sort of vague "conduct unbecoming" would not hold up to scrutiny, I'd say.

As to the clause about "especially pressing considerations," that was put into the constitution to allow parliament to pass laws regarding "hate speech," so-called. The wording of the original constitutional clause from 1814 said "there shall be freedom of speech," pure and simple. Since then there have been ... modifications.

GonzoTheGreat
02-12-2012, 04:43 AM
As to working with children, I imagine contractual provisions would cover that kind of thing. There are generally special rules when children are involved.
Which in this case would indeed seem to be quite a relevant exception. So, do you know of any reason why this exception to the general rule should not apply, given that this teacher was fairly explicitly saying that children should be murdered?

Uno
02-12-2012, 04:47 AM
Which in this case would indeed seem to be quite a relevant exception. So, do you know of any reason why this exception to the general rule should not apply, given that this teacher was fairly explicitly saying that children should be murdered?

At this point, the conversation has moved more in the direction of the employer's right to restrict the free speech of emloyees, Gonzo. And I side with the employees. One would think you---a socialist--would do the same. Beyond that, I see this joke as more of an expression of the frustration many people feel with the ruling party's blatant exploitation of this terrorist attack to win political gains. Besides, you just don't get how far Norwegian culture has traditionally tolerated crass jokes about disasters. I know I'm capable of shocking American friends with jokes that aren't even that bad, comparatively speaking. Rougher manners prevail up north. The only difference now is that people put them up online, making them public.

GonzoTheGreat
02-12-2012, 04:52 AM
At this point, the conversation has moved more in the direction of the employer's right to restrict the free speech of labour, Gonzo. And I side with labour.
In general, yes.
However, a salesman who advises all his clients to buy the competitor's products might lose his job even though what he says is in principle protected speech.

Some modicum of sense (common or otherwise) should be applied to this type of thing.

Uno
02-12-2012, 05:01 AM
In general, yes.
However, a salesman who advises all his clients to buy the competitor's products might lose his job even though what he says is in principle protected speech.

Some modicum of sense (common or otherwise) should be applied to this type of thing.

If his advises his clients to buy competitor's products, that's a work matter. If he privately advises his friends because he knows that his company sells junk, that's another matter entirely. Why do I, the conservative, have to stand up for labour against you, the socialist? Disturbing.

AbbeyRoad
02-12-2012, 05:16 AM
the "joke"(I didn't find it funny either and I usually laugh at bad-taste jokes like that) is in the same vein as "How do you get 30 jews into a car?" and stuff like that.
And if a Rabbi made it to his congregation, I bet he would lose some of them...

And you are, of course, allowed to criticize your employer in public, otherwise union reps could not possibly do their jobs.
...
If his advises his clients to buy competitor's products, that's a work matter. If he privately advises his friends because he knows that his company sells junk, that's another matter entirely.
And what if he, on his own time, wrote and published a book about how the company he works for is poorly run and another company is much more deserving of everyone's business?

What if he stood outside the bank on a day off with a sign saying not to go in?

Should his employer then be able to fire him and distance themselves from his comments, or should they continue to keep him on, thereby endorsing his comments?

I know the examples don't directly apply to the original situation, but I wanted give examples to show that employers can, and should, fire employees who hurt their business, whether on their own time or not. If the teacher works with children, and parents read his facebook page, it hurts the school's reputation to keep him on. There are limits to what you can say before social consequences kick in, especially if you work with young minds for a living. Parents hold their teachers to high standards, since children's minds are very malleable, especially in regard to authority figures. In short, as the saying goes with athletes and PR reps; "think before you post."

Uno
02-12-2012, 05:26 AM
And if a Rabbi made it to his congregation, I bet he would lose some of them...


And what if he, on his own time, wrote and published a book about how the company he works for is poorly run and another company is much more deserving of everyone's business?

What if he stood outside the bank on a day off with a sign saying not to go in?

Should his employer then be able to fire him and distance themselves from his comments, or should they continue to keep him on, thereby endorsing his comments?

A lot would depend on what the contract says, I imagine. It's hard to imagine a case where someone could write a book about the firm that employed him without in any way violating confidentiality agreements, though. I've already accounted for those kinds of issues above, however, so I don't see why you're bringing them up now. Just to be contrary, I suppose. As for the other case, I would suspect that it's never happened, but then we're at any rate talking about a case where the worker is at his place of employment, even if he's not on the clock.

You can descend into silliness all you want, but the fact remains that labour has strong rights in Norwegian law and that what this man did had nothing directly to do with his work.

AbbeyRoad
02-12-2012, 05:38 AM
You can descend into silliness all you want, but the fact remains that labour has strong rights in Norwegian law and that what this man did had nothing directly to do with his work.
There are standards of conduct required to hold any position. Endorsing terrorism, whether sarcastic or not, is simply not professional. I think employers should be able to fire employees whose conduct hurt their business. It could also be very possible that parents wrote the school after seeing the message posted (though of course that is speculation).

I certainly believe in protecting workers, and perhaps I don't know how humor works there, but this just seems silly. You have to exercise better judgement than that. Posting comments endorsing terrorism while working with children is simply a huge error in judgement, and I would have fired him without question if I were his employer.

The truth of the matter is when you work for a company you represent the company. And if you are bringing negative attention to a company, and/or publicly being very unprofessional, the company should be in its rights to fire you.

Uno
02-12-2012, 05:44 AM
The truth of the matter is when you work for a company you represent the company. And if you are bringing negative attention to a company, and/or publicly being very unprofessional, the company should be in its rights to fire you.

No, you don't. Employers may try to infringe on private life, but employees are not slaves, no matter how much employers would like to make them so. You've got a right to privacy and that includes opinions your employer doesn't like. Norway is a nation of law, after all, not a nation of the whims of the powerful to do what they like.

AbbeyRoad
02-12-2012, 05:46 AM
Norway is a nation of law, after all, not a nation of the whims of the powerful to do what they like.
Well, once the argument has devolved into the above, there is no longer any room for debate.

Uno
02-12-2012, 05:49 AM
Well, once the argument has devolved into the above, there is no longer any room for debate.

That's what you suggested, from what I can tell. We have rules. And, by the way, opinions that are pretty mainstream in the US--say rather standard religiosity--would consign you to the lunatic fringe in Norway. Should your employer be able to fire you for expressing those? If so, why not? It might reflect poorly on the company having a lunatic on the payroll.

AbbeyRoad
02-12-2012, 06:01 AM
Should your employer be able to fire you for expressing those?
You cannot say whatever you like on a public forum without consequences. You are held to standards of professionalism within a profession. This was not a teacher cracking a joke at his house. He is writing messages endorsing terrorism in a public forum. That is unprofessional, it hurts the school's reputation, and it could certainly directly lead to the school losing business. Why shouldn't the school be able to fire him for that?

There is a difference between saying something privately, and saying something publicly. If you were the director of the school and getting calls from the parents saying they want to remove their child from the class because they don't want their children being influenced by that specific teacher, shouldn't you be able to fire him for being unprofessional and hurting the school? As a parent, would you want your child learning all day from a teacher who makes violent videos in his spare time regarding rape and callously posts online messages condoning mass murder?

EDIT:
You summed it up perfectly in your first post in this thread.
but this case is in clear violation of the Being Bloody Stupid Act, so he deserves to be fired for being an idiot, I'd say.
I couldn't agree more.

Uno
02-12-2012, 06:07 AM
You cannot say whatever you like on a public forum without consequences. You are held to standards of professionalism within a profession. This was not a teacher cracking a joke at his house. He is writing messages endorsing terrorism in a public forum. That is unprofessional, it hurts the school's reputation, and it could certainly directly lead to the school losing business. Why shouldn't the school be able to fire him for that?

There is a difference between saying something privately, and saying something publicly. If you were the director of the school and getting calls from the parents saying they want to remove their child from the class because they don't want their children being influenced by that specific teacher, shouldn't you be able to fire him for being unprofessional and hurting the school? As a parent, would you want your child learning all day from a teacher who makes violent videos in his spare time regarding rape and callously posts online messages condoning mass murder?

The law protects free speech in public and private. Labour laws protect the rights of employees to speak in public. This merely becomes a question of being allowed to express opionions that are generally unpopular--and even abhorrent to the majority. I wouldn't be happy about this character teaching my kids, but, then, neither would I be happy about a creationist teaching my kids biology--or any kind of religious nutter teaching my kids anything at all. But should I be able to insist that a teacher be fired for expressing those ridiculous views on Facebook? Probably not.

AbbeyRoad
02-12-2012, 06:19 AM
From the article:

There were parents at the school who raised the alarm last week.
If parents are raising alarm, there is a problem.

It is obvious that this man is not suitable as a model for primary school pupils, says Stig Aarli, crime manager at Captures Police Station
Which implies there is a standard of professionalism required for teachers, which he has not met.

we have access to speech that violates the provisions of the Penal Code
So, apparently speech is limited by law in certain labor situations.

The article also mentions that he has been under watch from the police.

This is just not the type of man who should be entrusted with young minds, from what I can understand from the translation of the article. And he should be able to be fired.

I wouldn't be happy about this character teaching my kids, but, then, neither would I be happy about a creationist teaching my kids biology
But not all 'unpopular ideologies' are the same. Would you rather your child learn from a Creationist, or a Satanist? Or perhaps a sadist, who posts on his facebook (which his students can read, mind you), about how cutting himself is pleasurable and everyone should do it. That not only sounds unpopular, but if I am a parent I am unenrolling my kids from that school, and not letting them in the same room with that guy. But that's just me.

Uno
02-12-2012, 06:26 AM
But not all 'unpopular ideologies' are the same. Would you rather your child learn from a Creationist, or a Satanist? Or perhaps a sadist, who posts on his facebook (which his students can read, mind you), about how cutting himself is pleasurable and everyone should do it. That not only sounds unpopular, but if I am a parent I am unenrolling my kids from that school, and not letting them in the same room with that guy. But that's just me.

Maybe Satanist, really. Chances are that there aren't that many people that actually take Satanism very seriously, whereas I know that there are plenty of creationists that actually believe in their lunatic garbage. But as I said, there are likely special rules for people working with children. The matter of being a porn star might fall under those, though I'm not sure that it should. It's prefectly legal to make porn.

As to the matter of the police monitoring this fellow, that's a rather disturbing phenomenon in itself. They made it clear that he has done nothing illegal, yet they place him under police surveillance? We certainly have moved a far way toward a police state in a few months, I must say. And since when are labour relations a police matter?

AbbeyRoad
02-12-2012, 06:38 AM
Chances are that there aren't that many people that actually take Satanism very seriously, whereas I know that there are plenty of creationists that actually believe in their lunatic garbage.
So you'd be fine with your child's teacher posting that he enjoys cutting himself every night because it feels great and everyone should do it? Given that teachers are authority figures and have a very unique role in developing children's lives, they should not be able to post whatever they like on facebook, which some children check, without being fired.

The only way I can put this into context is with 9/11, since it happened on American soil and this is an instance of a Norwegian referencing the 2011 Norway attacks, one of which was the slaughter of children at a summer camp. And if someone posted 8 months after 9/11 a facebook post endorsing al Queda and saying that they should go slaughter more Americans... well, whether sarcastically or not, he's too dumb to keep his current job in my opinion. There are things you joke about, and things you don't, especially on a public forum. A teacher endorsing a man who murdered children? He sounds like he should pursue a new profession.

Uno
02-12-2012, 06:48 AM
So you'd be fine with your child's teacher posting that he enjoys cutting himself every night because it feels great and everyone should do it? Given that teachers are authority figures and have a very unique role in developing children's lives, they should not be able to post whatever they like on facebook, which some children check, without being fired.

The only way I can put this into context is with 9/11, since it happened on American soil and this is an instance of a Norwegian referencing the 2011 Norway attacks, one of which was the slaughter of children at a summer camp. And if someone posted 8 months after 9/11 a facebook post endorsing al Queda and saying that they should go slaughter more Americans... well, whether sarcastically or not, he's too dumb to keep his current job in my opinion. There are things you joke about, and things you don't, especially on a public forum. A teacher endorsing a man who murdered children? He sounds like he should pursue a new profession.

This is a matter of the limits of free speech, and the line between professional and private life. I tend to err on the side of protecting speech. When I was a kid, I had one teacher that was basically a stoner--a lawbreaker, in other words--yet he taught pretty well, and a number that were Communists--defenders of the worst atrocities in modern history, one might say--but they did their jobs well enough for all that. The only difference then was that the internet didn't exist yet, and, of course, that the teaching profession in Norway is leaning pretty heavily to the left, so being a left-wing extermist tended to pass without comment.

As to the thing about inappropriate jokes. Well, no. It's been eight months. And given that the inappropriate jokes tend to come trickling down a couple of weeks after the disaster, I'm not sure it's that big of a deal to tell them now. Hell, people were telling Scandinavian Star jokes pretty damn soon, the way I recall it, and if there's a disaster in some other country, there doesn't even seem to be a time limit.

On the matter of the guy being too damn stupid to teach, I will, however, agree. You got to be careful what you post online, but I know people on Theoryland that might be in serious trouble if people knew who had posted some totally crazy views in the past. What you post isn't necessarily you. We all know that.

AbbeyRoad
02-12-2012, 07:11 AM
As to the matter of the police monitoring this fellow, that's a rather disturbing phenomenon in itself. They made it clear that he has done nothing illegal, yet they place him under police surveillance? We certainly have moved a far way toward a police state in a few months, I must say. And since when are labour relations a police matter?
I agree 100%.

When I was a kid, I had one teacher that was basically a stoner--a lawbreaker, in other words--yet he taught pretty well
My favorite teacher of all time was a stoner. Of course, he didn't go around posting about it on facebook...

What you post isn't necessarily you. We all know that.
Of course not, but if your job is to influence children, you have to exercise some judgement. I hate what sites like facebook and, even worse, twitter have become. But people tend to forget so easily (like my med tech who was a great technician, but posted pictures of himself smoking a huge bong on facebook and was therefore drug tested and, upon failing, fired; honestly, I don't have a problem if you don't do it at work, but be discreet) that what you post on those sites anyone can see at any time. If people want privacy, they should be private; and posting on facebook is not in any way private.

For me, the biggest problem I have is that he works with children. If he were a construction worker, I doubt this would even be news.

Uno
02-12-2012, 07:16 AM
For me, the biggest problem I have is that he works with children. If he were a construction worker, I doubt this would even be news.

Understood, but to give you some sense of where I'm coming from, let me posit the following: If in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks in NY, some Norwegian teacher had expressed overt support for what was done there, I'm willing to bet--and Dahl can tell me if he agrees or not--that he would not have been fired. And if it was suggested that he should be fired, politicians on the left would have rallied to his defence.

Because there's a vague sympathy on that side of the spectrum for Islamist or any other form of violence against the capitalist imperialist pigdog the USA. It's just different when it hits us, for some reason. And I can almost guarantee that there are right now many Norwegian teachers that express sympathy for terrorist attacks on Israel without reprecussions.

AbbeyRoad
02-12-2012, 07:28 AM
It's just different when it hits us, for some reason.
I can understand why. Supporting a mass murderer who killed your own people (and many of them children at a summer camp) would be harder for Norwegians to empathize with than supporting anti-America terrorists. Americans may have made Holocaust "how many Jews can you fit in an oven" type jokes, but you don't see Israeli's making those jokes, especially not Israeli's who remember what Nazi Germany was like... it's a bit different when it happens to you.

And I think another problem here is the wording. I suppose I just don't understand Norwegian humor, but try as I might, I can't see how his comments were meant to be a joke at all. It appears to me to be an endorsement, or at the very least, very easily misconstrued as an endorsement.

Uno
02-12-2012, 07:33 AM
I can understand why. Supporting a mass murderer who killed your own people (and many of them children at a summer camp) would be harder for Norwegians to empathize with than supporting anti-America terrorists. Americans may have made Holocaust "how many Jews can you fit in an oven" type jokes, but you don't see Israeli's making those jokes, especially not Israeli's who remember what Nazi Germany was like... it's a bit different when it happens to you.

And I think another problem here is the wording. I suppose I just don't understand Norwegian humor, but try as I might, I can't see how his comments were meant to be a joke at all. It appears to me to be an endorsement, or at the very least, very easily misconstrued as an endorsement.

Terrorism is terrorism, to my mind. If you support one kind, you're no better than the people who support the other, and thus no more or less qualified to teach. I'm not sure what would have happened if a teacher had defended Islamist terror against Norway, but I'm almost willing to say that he would've found quite a few people who expressed sympathy for those kinds of views. Because that would be the Third World striking back, or something.

The wording might matter, true. It wasn't really phrased in standard joke format, but he might just be bad at telling jokes. It's hard to say.

DahLliA
02-12-2012, 09:15 AM
Understood, but to give you some sense of where I'm coming from, let me posit the following: If in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks in NY, some Norwegian teacher had expressed overt support for what was done there, I'm willing to bet--and Dahl can tell me if he agrees or not--that he would not have been fired. And if it was suggested that he should be fired, politicians on the left would have rallied to his defence.

don't think it took more than a couple hours before the first jokes started going around.

interestingly enough I remember getting one from a friend who thinks this teacher is a horrible person.

which is understandable in one way since Utøya happened to us and not someone else, but it is still hypocrisy in the purest form.

The wording might matter, true. It wasn't really phrased in standard joke format, but he might just be bad at telling jokes. It's hard to say.

yeah. that's the worst thing about this case. the joke wasn't even funny :p

GonzoTheGreat
02-13-2012, 04:24 AM
The only way I can put this into context is with 9/11, since it happened on American soil and this is an instance of a Norwegian referencing the 2011 Norway attacks, one of which was the slaughter of children at a summer camp. And if someone posted 8 months after 9/11 a facebook post endorsing al Queda and saying that they should go slaughter more Americans... well, whether sarcastically or not, he's too dumb to keep his current job in my opinion. There are things you joke about, and things you don't, especially on a public forum. A teacher endorsing a man who murdered children? He sounds like he should pursue a new profession.
Let's make it a bit more realistic, or at least, more accurate to the example:
Less than a year after 9/11, an American airline pilot posts an opinion somewhere saying that more people should fly passenger airplanes into skyscrapers. Would such a pilot then be:
1. Kept in his job, as he hasn't (yet) done anything explicitly illegal.
2. Fired, as the passengers of that airline are getting scared, and they have good reason to be?
3. Put under some kind of police surveillance, to check whether or not he is actually intending to go through with this threat?

I find it really, really hard to believe that option 1 would be automatically chosen, and that the other options would be dismissed on the grounds that "free speech is paramount".

A teacher should be trustworthy enough to entrust children to his care. This teacher either does not have the correct attitude (wanting to murder children) or he does not have the required minimum level of intelligence (failing to understand that he can't afford to make this kind of joke). Either way, he proved his unfitness for his job beyond reasonable doubt.

yks 6nnetu hing
02-13-2012, 05:55 AM
In my contract it says that I'm not allowed to prattle about the company (confidentiality) - doing so and getting caught will carry a penalty, though it depends on the magnitude of the breach. If I go to a job interview with the implication that I'll bring some documentation with me from my current job, that's industrial espionage and severely punishable by law. I may try to crawl out of it by saying that it's all freedom of speech but the fact is, I signed a contract with my current company agreeing to limit my own freedom of speech in this instance.


Now, as far as I know, teachers usually have a code of conduct either in their contract or as part of the House Rules which apply to the school as a whole. If he violated his contract, then he is justifiably fired. If he didn't have something like that in his contract then I seriously hope that all schools add it in for any future hires.

My contract also forbids me to come to work in shorts or flip-flops or download any illegal material, including child porn, into my work computer.

Ivhon
02-13-2012, 08:16 AM
In my contract it says that I'm not allowed to prattle about the company (confidentiality) - doing so and getting caught will carry a penalty, though it depends on the magnitude of the breach. If I go to a job interview with the implication that I'll bring some documentation with me from my current job, that's industrial espionage and severely punishable by law. I may try to crawl out of it by saying that it's all freedom of speech but the fact is, I signed a contract with my current company agreeing to limit my own freedom of speech in this instance.


Now, as far as I know, teachers usually have a code of conduct either in their contract or as part of the House Rules which apply to the school as a whole. If he violated his contract, then he is justifiably fired. If he didn't have something like that in his contract then I seriously hope that all schools add it in for any future hires.

My contract also forbids me to come to work in shorts or flip-flops or download any illegal material, including child porn, into my work computer.

Well. As long as you download your child porn onto your personal computer, you should be OK then

yks 6nnetu hing
02-13-2012, 08:55 AM
Well. As long as you download your child porn onto your personal computer, you should be OK then

technically that would be a criminal offence which would be grounds for my company to fire me, seeing as I would be unavailable for work due to spending time behind bars. If I were to download, say, the WoT series to my work computer, that would not (yet) be a criminal offence but it might be enough reason for my company to fire me.

Likewise, and back to the topic, if there are rules to expel a student based on behaviour not related to grades (off the top of my head: severe bullying), then there ought to be rules to dismiss a teacher. While you may not be able to hold an elementary school student to the same moral level and say: we're going to expel them for making porn videos - rather the contrary, the student will be a victim in any such instance seeing as they're minors and even if we're dealing with some distorted little scumbag who came up with the idea all by themselves, they don't know any better and we should therefore teach them to know better... But if it's the teacher who is supposed to teach the kids to know better? if he's the one making the violent videos??

Of course then we come to the territory of past offenders using their experiences as warning: the good old lectures (which I've had to attend at school...) of "I did drugs. it's not good" - then it's very different from "Look kids, I'm doing drugs now!"

Ishara
02-13-2012, 02:23 PM
No, you don't. Employers may try to infringe on private life, but employees are not slaves, no matter how much employers would like to make them so. You've got a right to privacy and that includes opinions your employer doesn't like. Norway is a nation of law, after all, not a nation of the whims of the powerful to do what they like.

You do, to an extent. But posting things on facebook, which is a public fora is not the same thing as telling the joke to your friends in the privacy of your own living room. Expressing negative opinions about your employer, engaging in activities that are detrimental to your employer while you are outside of the workplace and engaging in bahvaiour that could affect the reputation of your employer while you are outside of the owkrplace are all great exmaples of how to get fired in North America.

You're entitled to your opinion, sure. But the second you put it out there for others to see and know, well, then you're also entitled to the consequences.

(which is art of what I was trying to drive at with the Marine SS thread)

Uno
02-13-2012, 03:41 PM
You do, to an extent. But posting things on facebook, which is a public fora is not the same thing as telling the joke to your friends in the privacy of your own living room. Expressing negative opinions about your employer, engaging in activities that are detrimental to your employer while you are outside of the workplace and engaging in bahvaiour that could affect the reputation of your employer while you are outside of the owkrplace are all great exmaples of how to get fired in North America.

You're entitled to your opinion, sure. But the second you put it out there for others to see and know, well, then you're also entitled to the consequences.

(which is art of what I was trying to drive at with the Marine SS thread)

Well, the thing is that employers might think any number of opinions tarnish the reputations of their firms. I, for instance, would be tempted to consider a person who likens Obama to Hitler a dangerous and possibly irrational extremist, yet that's not an especially uncommon utterance these days. Other people might think the same of a member of the Occupy movement. Should we be able to fire him or her just for that? If there's a free-for-all in applying economic sanctions against people whose opinions you happen to dislike, freedom of speech becomes meaningless.

Ishara
02-13-2012, 03:52 PM
Well, the thing is that employers might think any number of opinions tarnish the reputations of their firms. I, for instance, would be tempted to consider a person who likens Obama to Hitler a dangerous and possibly irrational extremist, yet that's not an especially uncommon utterance these days. Other people might think the same of a member of the Occupy movement. Should we be able to fire him or her just for that? If there's a free-for-all in applying economic sanctions against people whose opinions you happen to dislike, freedom of speech becomes meaningless.

Well, yes. They could. But they a) need to know about it first, and b) need to be able to prove that it actually does affect their reputation. In your example, I would suggest that the employer would need to be a political organization, an agency or the actual government for that to occur.

Plus, firing someone is not the only recourse an employer has, right? They could discipline someone to prevent it from happening again (which is the whole point of workplace discipline) and never get to firing.

Uno
02-13-2012, 04:04 PM
Well, yes. They could. But they a) need to know about it first, and b) need to be able to prove that it actually does affect their reputation. In your example, I would suggest that the employer would need to be a political organization, an agency or the actual government for that to occur.

Plus, firing someone is not the only recourse an employer has, right? They could discipline someone to prevent it from happening again (which is the whole point of workplace discipline) and never get to firing.

Of course they would have to know about it, but the point of freedom of speech is to be able to express opinions in public, to be able to participate in the public exchange of ideas. It's a normal feature of an open society. If only people who are self-employed can do that without fear, then only a few enjoy the full fruits of political freedom. But that's of course why many thinkers have suggested that popular government could only exist in a society where economic power was more or less equal and few people worked for a wage.

I could easily envision someone feeling that a police officer, bank teller, teacher, fireman, or any number of positions that involve responsbility ought not to be held by a crackpot, and I'd say that based on the opinions they express online, there are quite a few people at Theoryland I'd consider far over the crackpot horizon. Yet agreeing to use firing and other forms of negative sanctions just to silence them is just a form of McCarthyism.

And based on the criteria that you shouldn't express opinions that hurt the reputation of your firm, employers were completely justified in sacking Socialists in the 1940s and 1950s. Having a known Socialist on the staff would probably significantly hurt a firm in that political climate.

Ishara
02-14-2012, 11:55 AM
Well Uno, I'm not sure what to say beyond that this is the way it is in employment law in North America. An employer should have the reasonable expectation that their employees will not defame or otherwise negatively affect its reputation. To take action against that type of behaviour is not reprisal, it's discipline and there is a significant difference in my books.

Zombie Sammael
02-14-2012, 12:14 PM
Well Uno, I'm not sure what to say beyond that this is the way it is in employment law in North America. An employer should have the reasonable expectation that their employees will not defame or otherwise negatively affect its reputation. To take action against that type of behaviour is not reprisal, it's discipline and there is a significant difference in my books.

In the UK, we now have legislation to protect whistle-blowers - people who discover that their firm is behaving in a way they think is unacceptable and bring it to public attention. I'm not sure how it is the US or Canada, but I believe similar legislation is in force in the US (I could be wrong). In any case, what that demonstrates is that at least in some countries it's thought that a firm should only have a reasonable expectation that its employees won't act in a manner that damages it so long as it is acting in a reasonable manner itself. Once a firm starts behaving in a way which is unacceptable an employee is at liberty to call the firm on it.

GonzoTheGreat
02-14-2012, 12:28 PM
Once a firm starts behaving in a way which is unacceptable an employee is at liberty to call the firm on it.
To tie this back to the actual case, if a school fails to exterminate its socialist pupils then a teacher would be entitled to blow the whistle on that failure?

Davian93
02-14-2012, 12:28 PM
The US has the same protections...and they work in theory. I would never depend on them but supposedly such laws are on the books.

Uno
02-14-2012, 12:45 PM
Well Uno, I'm not sure what to say beyond that this is the way it is in employment law in North America. An employer should have the reasonable expectation that their employees will not defame or otherwise negatively affect its reputation. To take action against that type of behaviour is not reprisal, it's discipline and there is a significant difference in my books.

Foreign law and practice is, once again, irrelevant to this case. I'm not sure why that is so hard to understand, but if we want to internationalize things, I'm sure that in the US Gonzo, to take one, would have been fired pretty soon if his employer found what he has posted here. His tendency to use racist terms for the shock effect would be enough to take care of that.

Sarevok
02-14-2012, 12:53 PM
In the UK, we now have legislation to protect whistle-blowers - people who discover that their firm is behaving in a way they think is unacceptable and bring it to public attention. I'm not sure how it is the US or Canada, but I believe similar legislation is in force in the US (I could be wrong). In any case, what that demonstrates is that at least in some countries it's thought that a firm should only have a reasonable expectation that its employees won't act in a manner that damages it so long as it is acting in a reasonable manner itself. Once a firm starts behaving in a way which is unacceptable an employee is at liberty to call the firm on it.

The diffence between the case at hand and whistleblower laws is that a wistleblower "damages" his employer by drawing attention to negative things the employer has been doing. In the case of the teacher, he's been doing things that draw negative attention to him, which in turn draws negative attention to his employer.[/nitpick]

That said, I find it surprising that everyone either gets upset about his being fired, or getting annoyed at the people being upset. It seems rather clear that with all the post obviously generated before the media caught wind, and that it seems to be known that he's made porn in the past... how does anyone expect the school to keep him on as a teacher? Nevermind the legal side: how are his students ever going to take him seriously?

Uno
02-14-2012, 12:57 PM
Nevermind the legal side: how are his students ever going to take him seriously?

There is no legal side, as such. He wasn't fired at all, he agreed to quit. But if you want to fire someone, you have to do it legally. You can't just say "nevermind the legal side."

Ishara
02-14-2012, 01:15 PM
In the UK, we now have legislation to protect whistle-blowers - people who discover that their firm is behaving in a way they think is unacceptable and bring it to public attention. I'm not sure how it is the US or Canada, but I believe similar legislation is in force in the US (I could be wrong). In any case, what that demonstrates is that at least in some countries it's thought that a firm should only have a reasonable expectation that its employees won't act in a manner that damages it so long as it is acting in a reasonable manner itself. Once a firm starts behaving in a way which is unacceptable an employee is at liberty to call the firm on it.

Canada has whistleblowing legislation as well, but there is a significant difference between whistleblowing (which would be the exposure of illicit, illegal or otherwise uncool things your employer is doing) and defaming or criticizing your employer.

And sorry Uno, I should have been more clear. I wasn't trying to suggest that the rules should apply in this case (or that they shouldn't), I was just trying to explain how employment law looks at these types of general issues in North America.

Zombie Sammael
02-14-2012, 01:30 PM
The US has the same protections...and they work in theory. I would never depend on them but supposedly such laws are on the books.

I am aware of it because of a recent case in which it "worked in theory" in the UK, so that's a fair point. Still, there are certain circumstances where society appears to deem it acceptable to act in a way which harms your employer. I mean, there's a clear public interest if, for instance, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is letting large corporations off from paying the tax they owe, or a large company is polluting the environment. While there is the argument that if a firm is behaving in such a way, why do you still want to work there, there are actually a variety of reasons why you would; niche industries, trying to change the system from within, difficulty finding work after a controversy, etc.

Sarevok
02-14-2012, 02:59 PM
There is no legal side, as such. He wasn't fired at all, he agreed to quit. But if you want to fire someone, you have to do it legally. You can't just say "nevermind the legal side."

For clarification: I meant for the purposes of this discussion... Why are people even arguing? :confused:

Ivhon
02-14-2012, 03:21 PM
For clarification: I meant for the purposes of this discussion... Why are people even arguing? :confused:

Because this is TL's Non-Wot board? Duh.....

Terez
02-14-2012, 04:46 PM
Because this is TL's Non-Wot board? Duh.....You say that as if we don't argue on the WoT boards.

Ivhon
02-14-2012, 05:15 PM
You say that as if we don't argue on the WoT boards.

I try not to speak to things of which I have no experience.

Terez
02-14-2012, 05:25 PM
I try not to speak to things of which I have no experience.I believe you do have experience. Maybe not memory, but definitely experience. :p

Uno
02-14-2012, 06:54 PM
For clarification: I meant for the purposes of this discussion... Why are people even arguing? :confused:

Because we like arguing and none of us really know when to quit. It's not like it's a new thing around here.

DahLliA
02-15-2012, 05:03 AM
For clarification: I meant for the purposes of this discussion... Why are people even arguing? :confused:

I just don't like hypocrisy :p

The Unreasoner
02-15-2012, 12:48 PM
This has really become an interesting thread. From Gonzo and Uno especially.

tworiverswoman
02-15-2012, 01:02 PM
For clarification: I meant for the purposes of this discussion... Why are people even arguing? :confused:The arguments have strayed frequently from this specific man to the underlying principles that protect (maybe) employees and/or employers.

In this particular case, yeah the man wasn't fired, though I suspect it was a case of "resign or BE fired," which is much harder to explain on your resumé.

So the argument is mostly about whether the school had the RIGHT to force that choice.

I can understand the comments about employee rights and stuff, but the employer has got to have a few rights, too. I suspect a psychological profiler might have a few things to say about this man's suitability as a school teacher, just based on the three things we saw about him. He likes violence. As far as we can tell, he restricts that to imaginary violence, but...