A truly disgusting prank was met with some very harsh words that got a high school band director suspended.
There's a lesson to be learned from this story: watch what you say online. Even if you're commenting on something truly heinous, your words could end up hurting you more than the people you're criticizing. That's what happened to Cindy Stephens.
Stephens is a teacher and band director at Syvlania High School in Sylvania, Alabama. She, like everyone in Sylvania, was disgusted by a senior prank committed by four students last Tuesday. Almost immediately after graduation, the teenagers took a spreader truck (I don't know how they got their hands on a spreader truck) and used it to spread chicken feces all over the roads surrounding the school. Because in the South, senior pranks involve heavy machinery and industrial quantities of chicken feces.
Ms. Stephens was one of the unfortunate people who had to help clean up the mess, and it left her none too happy. She should have waited to calm down before commenting on Facebook, however, because the rant she posted may have cost her her job:
Can you guess which sentence parents objected to? (Cindy Stephens via AL.com)
The backlash was almost immediate. Chicken poop or no, the community wasn't too happy to see Stephens wishing that their kids would "become someone b!+** in jail (sic)." The teacher deleted her post, but not before screenshots made their way back to the principal, Westley King. He placed Stephens on paid leave. What will happen next for her is still up in the air, along with the smell of bird poop.
The students responsible for the prank have been identified, but it is uncertain if they will be charged with criminal vandalism. The school can't punish them, because they've already graduated, so there's a chance they'll get off scot-free. They didn't even have to help clean up.
This is a surprisingly complicated story. It definitely seems like Ms. Stephens got the shit end of the stick. On the other hand, her conduct was very unprofessional. It's understandable that parents would have a problem with her teaching their kids now. In the end, though, it's just a lousy situation for everybody. It just proves the old adage: school and chicken feces and Facebook don't mix.