Junior school teacher to be disciplined after posting anti-trans comments online

Joseph McCormick February 23, 2018
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A primary school teacher who posted transphobic comments online and misgendered a trans person faces disciplinary action.

Melanie Kennedy, who works at Pickering Brook Primary School, wrote the comments under an online news article.

The article was about a trans woman who was sentenced to six years in jail in a men’s prison facility.

But Kennedy celebrated the move, writing: “At least they put him where he belongs…in a male prison. That is what he is!!!”

The comment was liked more than 40 times before someone flagged the fact that she is a teacher.

A fellow commented wrote: “…and you’re a teacher. Wow.”

“God, let’s hope your son isn’t transgender,” wrote another commenter on the thread.

But Kennedy didn’t stop there, responding to that comment saying: “Let’s hope not!”

After the comments were posted, another Facebook user took to the Pickering Brook Primary School page to alert other staff members to them.

“Melanie Kennedy is a teacher at this school and actively spreading uneducated bile on Facebook,” wrote the Facebook user.

“Shame you would think someone that is a teacher would be well educated and not a mud flinging neanderthal stirring up hatred for minorities.

“She should not be in a position to mould innocent minds.”

The comments have also been reported to the Department of Education.

“The matter relating to a primary school teacher had now been referred to the Standards and Integrity directorate for assessment,” read a statement from the Department.

The executive director of Professional Standards and Conduct, Eamon Ryan, said those employed by the Department should abide by its code of conduct.

He added that there were social media guidelines which teachers should adhere to.

“Our prevention and education team provides a social media presentation and training to individual schools and other department workplaces to help staff understand their responsibilities when using social media – even in their private lives,” Mr Ryan commented.

According to the Department of Education’s social media guidelines: “Your role with the department creates an association between what you say online and the department itself. It is therefore vital to ensure all material you publish on social media is respectful of all individuals…”

It also encourages teachers to have high privacy settings in order to prevent their personal information being accesed.

Related topics: Australia, Australia, Perth, teacher, transphobia

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