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Daycare Employee Fired for Using Instagram to Post Pictures That Mocked the Kids


Here we go again, people. Two daycare workers were fired recently for using the popular social photo sharing site, Instagram, to post humiliating pictures of the young children they were left to care for at A Heavenly Haven Child Care in Newport News, Virginia. The two caregivers may have thought it was funny at the time, but look who’s laughing now in the unemployment line.


(Photo Credit: cletch/Flickr)

Melissa Jordan, the mother of three-year-old Ethan Jordan, discovered a picture posted on Instagram by Jena Ferrel, Ethan’s caretaker, of her son sitting miserably in a high chair with the caption, “I’m sick of this s***!!!” at the top, which was, apparently, referring to Ethan’s delayed speech development. (You can see the picture here.) To make matters worse, one of the managers of the facility decided to chime in and commented the following on the photo, “He really look [sic] like that’s exactly wat [sic] he is thinking cuz [sic] sure can’t talk.”

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It goes without saying that Melissa Jordan was disgusted by the findings on Instagram and exclaimed, “What? I pay them to humiliate my child?” And, just when you thought this story couldn’t get any crueler, Jena Ferrel posted a second picture of another young boy comparing him side-by-side with “Mater” from the movie “Cars,” insinuating that the boy’s teeth resembled that of the movie character’s teeth (picture here). Who does this? Oh yeah, people who want to get fired for a reckless lapse of judgment.

The CEO of A Heavenly Haven Child Care, Juanita Brown, announced that both employees were subsequently fired for breaching company privacy policy that prohibits the use of cell phones in the daycare center. As for commenting on the situation itself, Brown had this to say in an interview:

“I’m just trying to allow the hurt and the pain of the people involved, I’m trying to let it rest. The employees were fired as our company policy states and there’s nothing more that we can say or do in this matter.”

So, people, what are the lessons to be learned here? Let’s take a look:

1. The internet is forever, even when you “delete” things.

2. Making fun of a child is never acceptable on any level, especially when you’re put in charge of caring for that child.

3. Posting inappropriate or disrespectful content on your personal social media profiles can and will get you fired.

If you need a refresher course on what can potentially get you fired on social media, read this post.

4. Run background checks, verify references, and conduct online searches (social media included) when hiring new employees because they could possibly be complete duds who will eventually ruin your business and its reputation in the worst way possible (i.e. very publicly and online)

5. Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would want to be treated, especially when it comes to their children. Enough said.

This story is a great reminder to think before you tweet because it may just cost you your job … and your entire career! Use caution when utilizing social media as a professional because you really never know who’s lurking in the shadows and watching your every move. Be considerate, be wise, be professional.

Tell Us What You Think

What are your thoughts on the actions of the two caregivers at Heavenly Haven Childcare? Share your reaction on Twitter or in the comments section below.

More from PayScale

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The 5 Commandments of Social Media Etiquette

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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