A teacher who was fired for saying on Facebook she'd like to see her "devil spawn" fifth grade students drown still wants her job back—and a Manhattan Supreme Court judge is on her side. But the city? Not so much!
Let's review! Back in June 2010 Christine Rubino got in hot water after a conversation she had on Facebook was made public. "After today, I am thinking the beach sounds like a wonderful idea for my 5th graders! I HATE THEIR GUTS!" she wrote. When a friend replied "Wouldn't you throw a life jacket to little Kwami?" she just made things worse by retorting "No, I wouldn't for a million dollars." (for context, this was just after 12-year-old Nicole Suriel drowned on a school trip). She also reportedly called her students "the devils spawn." Rubino was quickly fired after a hearing officer found that she was guilty of "misconduct, neglect of duty and conduct unbecoming her profession."
But it doesn't stop there! Rubino, who had a good record, sued for her job at PS 203 back, recently telling the News, "I always did my job and I was good at it. I’m sorry if I offended anyone. Do I have to lose my career over it?" And this week Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe agreed with her, saying that "While her reference to a child’s death is repulsive, there is no evidence that her postings are part of a pattern of conduct or anything other than an isolated incident of intemperance."
The Department of Education via the City's Law Department, however, isn't really keen on bringing the $78,000-a-year teacher back into the fold. It is now planning to appeal (though Rubino will remain on payroll in the interim). "We firmly believe that Ms. Rubino's comments, which the court found 'repulsive,' as well as her other conduct of which she was found guilty, warranted her termination," a City Law Department spokeswoman told the News.