Teacher Ashley Payne fired for posting picture of herself holding beer on Facebook
Costly: Ashley Payne, 24, posed for this picture while travelling around Europe in the summer of 2009. It was later spotted on her Facebook page

With a pint of beer in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, the worst thing you could accuse Ashley Payne of is mixing her drink.

But this happy holiday picture has cost the high school teacher her job after a parent spotted it on Facebook - and complained.

The picture was taken while travelling around Europe in the summer of 2009.

But Miss Payne, 24, was shocked when she was summoned to the principal's office at Apalachee High School, in Winder, Georgia, and offered an ultimatum.
She told CBS News: 'He just asked me, "Do you have a Facebook page?" 

'And you know, I'm confused as to why I am being asked this, but I said, "Yes",  and he said, "Do you have any pictures of yourself up there with alcohol?"'

He then offered her an option: resign or be suspended.

She chose to resign.

Unacc-sip-table: Miss payne was told to resign or face suspension

Unacc-sip-table: Miss payne was told to resign or face suspension

School officials also took offence to the use of the B-word on the page.

Miss Payne is now in a bitter legal battle with the school to get her job back.

Fighter: Miss Payne is now in a bitter legal battle with Apalachee High School, in Winder, Georgia to get her job back

Fighter: Miss Payne talks to CBS News. She is now in a bitter legal battle with Apalachee High School, in Winder, Georgia to get her job back

Her lawyer, Richard Storrs, said: 'It would be like I went to a restaurant and I saw my daughter's teacher sitting there with her husband having a glass of some kind of liquid.

'You know, is that frowned upon by the school board? Is that illegal? Is that improper? Of course not. It's the same situation in this case.'

The English teacher later found out it was one anonymous emailer who shopped her to the school board after seeing the picture on the social networking site.

But she is baffled how a parent could gain access to her page when she has all her privacy settings on 'high', meaning only her closest friends have permission to see her pictures.

She admits putting the 'offensive' pictures on Facebook but says she now feels as if she had stashed them in a shoebox at home for them to be stolen and showed to the principal.

Court documents reveal that officials warned teachers about 'unacceptable online activities'. They claimed her page 'promoted alcohol use' and 'contained profanity'.

She now wants to clear her name and claim back her job.

She added: 'I just want to be back in the classroom, if not that classroom, a classroom. I want to get back doing what I went to school for, my passion in life.'

By Lena Sullivan 02/07/2011 11:41:00

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (31)

Carlton 08/06/2015 18:05:25
So what ever happened with this?
Natosha Robinson 06/01/2013 14:44:56
This is so ridiculous.... This is her personal life consuming alcohol is not illegal when you are of the right age which she is. The school officials need to get off their high horses and move on she did nothing wrong that was her private page and her personal life. She was with in her legal rights so let her teach. I graduated from Apalachee and I think that it is a great school so I feel as if she was a good enough teacher to work there then let here work. It was not like she drank at school or her drinking affected her work. Come on be for real what you are doing is immoral. To the person that reported her get a life and stay out of hers. Do your research if you were concern for the well being of the kids you would have approached with caution.
Robert Conzuela 04/22/2013 14:53:12
This is beyond offensive that they would fire or request she resign. The person making the request and any that support them should be fined $100,000 and fired.
Dion 02/03/2013 17:21:04
So whats next? Teachers losing their jobs, when the school's board accuses them of having underage sex because they are displaying photos of them with their own children, nephews, nieces or family friends children? Or firing teachers for smiling on their Facebook photos, because it promotes happiness? Wouldn't want teachers to be happy in their personal life's now would we - ridiculous!!!!
scrubbergyrl 10/08/2012 20:10:35
I am so sick of what people do in their personal lives being any business of the place they work for. This world is getting absolutely ridiculous. People need to worry about what they are doing and stay out of other people's lives.
Pastor Jim 05/27/2012 10:19:17
This is absolutely stupid. He that is without sin cast the first stone. These are hypocrites, many of these parents have alcohol in their own home and they want to take a teacher out of the classroom because she is holding a glass of alcohol in a foreign country.

These pictures were supposed to be high priority and there was only meant for her friends and not students. She should be allowed to teach and the school should have to pay for them being so stupid.

I live in a foreign country and therefore, underage drinking is allowed. I do not drink because of the medication I am on and that I don't like it. But I do not condemn others to drink as long as they are not drunk.

Besides all of this she was not on school property and she was in the presence of her students at the time. Do you realize that many students do not idolize their teachers; therefore, the influence of teachers and parents and even pastors are not the role models they look up to. It is their school mates.

It is not the school's business what she does on her own time as long as she is not breaking any laws and she was not. The ACLU would have a field day with this.
Frank 02/27/2012 09:02:29
How ridiculous!! She is an ADULT.

If the school system thinks this is the biggest problem they have, no wonder the kids are stupid!

The prinicpal is probably jealous because he wants to have sex with her. She should have filed a sexual harrassment charge stating just that very thing. One is as ridiculous as the other. Fight fire with fire.
freedom2012 02/26/2012 10:13:55
slon from 9/7, read the article she was in england and she was of age and she had her Facebook set on the highest private setting.... how did someone see photo.... and this is about as bad as the quebec, canada dad being arrested and his house illegally search for his 4 year old son drawing him with a gun. or the 7year old her draw a picture of what her dad does for a living.... he is a marine.... cmon you stupid fascist people stop making our life miserable because you think yours is.
Dan 12/30/2011 06:43:12
Can you imagine, if she had denied everything, claimed she didn't know what they were talking about .and threatened lawsuit for defamation...I hope she wins, then files against the accuser.
slon 09/07/2011 05:04:56
she is a teacher. i think she cant drink public
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