Teacher, 79, told she can’t be friends with students on Facebook, quits job

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Carol Thebarge (Credit: Facebook / Carol Thebarge)

CHARLESTOWN, N.H. – A 79-year-old substitute teacher quit her job after school officials ordered her to delete thousands of students from her Facebook page and she refused.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reported that Charlestown resident Carol Thebarge has left Stevens High School.

Thebarge has been working as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher for the past 35 years, accepting assignments at 32 different schools.

The veteran teacher announced her decision — where else? — on Facebook.

Thebarge said school officials gave her the ultimatum after a math teacher was recently charged with sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl in his classroom.

She said she started deleting students, but stopped after about 50 when she had students start asking her what they did wrong.

Thebarge said some students have seen her Facebook page as a place where they can send private messages about being bullied or feeling depressed.

School Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin said that Claremont School Board policy bans teachers from being “friends” with students on social networking sites such as Facebook.

The superintendent said the principal asked Thebarge to delete students from her “friends” list, and she refused.

“In truth, being a caring, lovely woman doesn’t give you immunity to ignore a school board policy that’s designed to protect everyone,” he said.

Thebarge said she has had a wonderful career and did not want things to end this way.


  • Cindy Jencks

    This policy was designed to protect everyone but obviously the policy doesn’t. The policy needs to be modified so that good teachers can continue to help their students.

  • Leeann Curtis

    This women helped many students graduate that would have just slipped through the cracks if it wasn’t for her. She brings hope to an otherwise failing school with very low moral! Don’t speak about this story if you do not know the whole story or truth to it. This lady is a SAINT! The administration did a HUGE in justice to current and future students!

  • Victor Henry

    Another (out of many) case wherein some loser screwed up and the rest of the world has to pay for it. Not the way things should be run. Punish the screw-ups and leave the rest of us alone.

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