Teacher Getting Crunk On Twitter Causes Controversy: Should They #FreeCrunkBear?

Get ready, Lifetime – we have a new sexy teacher scandal in our midst.

Carly McKinney, aka “CarlyCrunkBear” on Twitter, recently found herself on administrative leave after tweeting half-naked pics of herself, as well as “inappropriate” content dealing with drug and alcohol use.

Okay, so what do we know about Ms. McKinney? We know she’s a teacher, she’s 23 years old and she likes to get crunk and doesn’t care who knows about it.

This is a tricky one. She hasn’t Mary Kay Letourneau’d any students that we know of. (If you don’t know, M.K.L. was a teacher who got busted for having an affair with her 13-year-old student, Vili. Check out the Lifetime movie for more details. Shiz gets real.) BUT CarlyCrunk is pretty much a real life Cameron Diaz a la Bad Teacher.

Now, this whole thing went down in Colorado, where marijuana was just legalized, but I’m pretty sure schools are “Drug Free Zones” in general. On one occasion there was a drug raid at her school, to which CrunkBear tweeted “…It’s funny cuz I have weed in my car in the staff parking lot…” And then there’s my own personal favorite: “Baked as @*#$ grading these papers…”

I feel like Crunky might just have a little growing up to do. Acting too cool for school is annoying enough when you’re a student. Obviously she’s a grown up and I’m not mad at the girl for taking part in the types of recreational activities that many 23-year-olds take part in. But when you’re dumb enough to tweet those things to the universe, knowing your students, coworkers and superiors can see them, you’re asking for trouble. You might as well be that annoying freshman who got invited to a cool senior party and posted pics to prove she was there and doing cool and slutty things, but then her mom saw the pics and now she’s forbidden from ever going to a party again. You lose.

But Ms. Crunk’s students are sticking up for her. They have started the hashtag #FreeCrunkBear and many have expressed that her attitude has made her a great teacher because the students can relate to her on a personal level. Some of the other teachers are also supporting her on the grounds of freedom of speech.

I was probably on the naive side of life when I was in school. I just figured my teachers were adults, so they knew better. Especially since they were teachers. I’m picturing that scene in Mean Girls when they see Mrs. Norbury shopping in the mall and find out she works at a bar at night, and it gets awkward for everybody.

It wasn’t until I became older and saw my own friends becoming teachers that it really hit me. They didn’t magically stop getting wasted on weekends or making questionable choices when they became teachers. Could it be that the whole time I was growing up, my teachers were people too? My friend once told me that if she ever begins class with a movie, that means she’s hungover.

CrunkBear’s Twitter account has been deactivated, but a Google search will bring up her Twitter bio, forever embedded in the Twitterverse: “Crunker than most. Stay sexy. Stay high. Stay drunk. Stay free. Stay trippy.” Guess she forgot about “Stay employed.”

So, what does everyone think? Should they #FreeCrunkBear?

Featured image via gazette.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003330027609 Terri Hellerich

    She should be fired. She would make a better stripper. I think she would be happier as a stripper. There is nothing wrong with being a slutty drug addict, but I don’t think it belongs in a school with children.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=729685317 Zozette Balsaras

    I mean, she could be a super nice person and that’s why people are defending her – but it comes down to this: If she is stupid enough to say things like that, openly on a public social network, then she is probably too stupid to be a teacher. Also, her twitter name alone, bugs me. No no no.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=21200068 Caitlin S Griffin

    I’m of the (high and mighty) opinion that being a teacher means you’re not only imparting book-knowledge, but also acting as a role model. You don’t have to be perfect, or even stop doing your chosen recreational activities, but you do have to draw a line of what is appropriate and what is not for your students. If they can friend or follow you on social media, then create a private account for your debauched doings. It’s great that her students feel they can relate to her, but what are they learning from her example?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000026670154 Jackie Ruth

    Part of being a teacher is being a role model for your students. Of course it’s okay for an adult to go out and drink with friends on the weekend, but leave it at home. And I still don’t know why otherwise smart people advertise their party lifestyles online if they ever want to be taken seriously.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=779140144 Lea Marshall

    This exact reason is why states are passing laws where employers cannot use social media against you. If she did not post the name of the school or any photos wearing school paraphernalia it should not be used against her. Every one has a life outside of your kids… and since those kids don’t go home with her at night or on weekends whatever she does on her own time is fine. I had teachers that were drunk throughout the day on campus and they are STILL teaching. Parents teach right from wrong, that’s their job. Teachers teach what the state tells them they have to. I’m sure most of her students were not following her on Twitter so by all accounts in front of them she was a role model, not that they weren’t going to learn about all of that stuff from their classmates anyway. If she takes it to court she’ll get her unemployment or even her job back. Next time make your account private and you’re good to go!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510443063 Jaime Hammer

    I think she’s a young woman and she still has a lot to learn. I don’t think that she should be fired for acting the age that she is. Saying and doing the things that she said and did may have been immature, but everyone is going to make mistakes and everyone should be permitted to do so. It’s when people don’t learn from their mistakes that it is a problem. I think she should be given a second chance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1730635548 Niko Lina

    The consequences for behavior like this would be even harsher if you are in a country where teachers are federal employees, like in Germany, for example. Like it or not, teachers are supposed to be role models. How can you guide students when growing up if you can’t get your own stuff together? This is why teacher education takes so long in most countries: they want to make sure you are grown up when dealing with kids. Sure, everybody deserves a second chance but if she’s acting like a high school kid, how is she supposed to teach lessons in growing up? I don’t know how it is in the US but in Europe schools are supposed to teach what is right or wrong. So, if you really can’t behave and have the urge to demonstrate that online, at least make your account private and don’t add students/colleagues/employers. If you lack even that bit of common sense, you have no business teaching at schools.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1040440739 Davey Pants

    I think if schools are going to have a problem with behavior like this they’re going to have to stop hiring 23 year olds fresh out of college, either that or lighten up cause they’re still kids and it comes with the territory.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1629880826 Shane Mabrey

    I love how many people on here are ready to judge someone based on cultural norms and values. Teachers used to drink and smoke pretty regularly. I’m really tired of people trying to be the moral police. Here she is, a college grad, a teacher, liked by her students, and all people can say is she needs to be a role model? How many of you saying that are degree holders? I smoke pot all day long and have a 3.8 gpa and am going to grad school to be a school psychologist that works with children. What I do on my time is my business and your freedoms end where mine begin. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=26105688 Meghan Eileen Marie

    Here’s the thing. I don’t care what she does in her free time, in any way, shape or form. BUT the problem here is that she was stupid enough to broadcast her ‘extracurriculars’ to a much wider audience. Teachers are not really just there to parlay information to their students, but to act as someone their students can look up to and learn from. When I hear that there are people stupid enough to do things like this, it frustrates the hell out of me because I have been looking for a teaching job for two years without avail. I definitely do what I want, but I keep it to myself and am smart about it. In this day and age, it still manages to drive me nuts that people JUST. DON’T. GET. IT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=39106911 Lisa Kopec

    She should not be under the influence while grading papers. I would be royally TO’d if I worked hard on my homework assignment, but my teacher was crunk and tweeting about it while grading.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=547060740 Tatiana Daugherty

    Hang on. Tweeting “half-naked” pics of herself does not make her a slut. Let’s nip that in the bud right now. Secondly, someone who smokes marijuana is not a “drug addict.” Take your judgy pants off and start over.

    She’s 23. How many stupid decisions did you make when you were her age? We learn by our mistakes, as someone ^ said. Sure, maybe she should have said she was high af while grading papers, but at least she was grading them. I kid. The school that she works for – administrative leave doesn’t mean she got fired – clearly thought she was the best candidate for the job, so I think they should give her a 2nd chance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002399349000 Priscilla Torrance

    There’s this old saying and it goes something like this, “Keep your work life professional, keep your personal life PERSONAL.” And that’s all I have to say about that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=694953315 Susy Pow

    I’m actually okay with the teacher in this article. She’s real-life which is something that will build actual adults out of her students and she isn’t doing anything illegal. The bit I’m truly offended about is this:
    “You might as well be that annoying freshman who got invited to a cool senior party and posted pics to prove she was there and doing cool and slutty things, but then her mom saw the pics and now she’s forbidden from ever going to a party again. You lose.”

    I’m going to call buillshit on the ‘slutty’ remark. What’s slutty?

    • Santina Muha

      I didn’t call her slutty – I was making an analogy of someone displaying immature behavior by posting self incriminating photos of themselves on social media.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1360170111 Maria Lopez

        you said “doing cool and slutty things” about the girl in your analogy. I agree with Suzy, that bit really turned me off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000331686256 Tara Sue

    Sorry but being 23 doesn’t mean u have the rite to b stupid. First off I’m not a teacher but but if my boss saw me tweeting th@ I had weed in my car @ work I would b fired & I have plenty of teacher friends so I now they don’t turn into saints over night but she should have known better & she sign contract stating she did (all teachers do), even I had to sign a paper on social media & I work in retell. Plus in today’s world if u feel u have to post “half-naked” pics, bragging about getting high & “crunked” (which u shouldn’t be using th@ word any more @ the age of 23 anyways) u must have a 2nd acc, one for work n family & one for friends. & u cant say u didn’t know better because story’s like this, where ppl are losing their job or just not getting jobs for wh@ they post. They are all over the news & have been for yrs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14102782 Caroline Jeffery

    she’s a young person that has not yet fully learned the “rules” of professionalism. she’s not a bad person for drinking or smoking. she could have had a little more common sense in keeping her twitter private – but that’s part of the social media world she grew up in – you share everything online w/o consequence. whether she gets fired or not should be a reflection of the values of the school and their mission statement. i went to a catholic school where this would SURELY be a fireable offense. if she gets fired, that sucks, but she’s 23, she’ll get another job, whether as a teacher or not. it’s just part of the maturity process.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1336710067 Catherine Migel

    This a tough one. But I have to say…it was immature for her to even have a public Twitter. It’s the responsibility you make as a teacher and if you don’t want your students knowing that stuff, make it so they can’t see it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504165472 Missy Pawelek

    As an actual high school teacher, I understand why she was placed on administrative leave. I don’t claim to know the practices in every state or school district, but I was required to sign a moral turpitude clause in my contract when I was hired. In Colorado, here actions are not illegal and not even necessarily immoral. However, as a public employee, especially one who works with students, a teacher has a responsibility to act professionally while in public. Her pictures do not show her partying with students, but they are now part of the “public” by being broadcast online. I know that parents of my students would have a major issue if I were to ever say that I graded their child’s paper while drunk or high. Teachers definitely should have a life outside of their students (it’s actually very necessary when dealing with certain high school kids), but they also have a responsibility to promote good citizenship to a degree. So, like all responsible adults, teachers should do whatever they want but they should keep the dirty secrets out of the public eye.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540050362 Hilary June

      Totally agree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=76200829 Jessica Jeffers

    Regardless of your feelings on the morality of being 23 and drinking, smoking pot, etc., the fact is that she is a role model and I think she forgot that. You can do all that stuff and not broadcast it publicly. Maybe students like that she’s open because it makes her more relatable, but a lot of parents are not going to be okay with their kids coming home and saying that their teacher condones marijuana.

    Also, she may not have been doing anything illegal but she probably breached her employment contract, as Missy noted, and she’s also acting irresponsible by posting the pictures on Twitter and joking about doing her job while high (which is something that should get you fired from any job – and yes, grading is part of her job even if she’s doing it at home).

    She’s 23 and needs to grow up and learn what it means to be a professional. Should she be prevented from ever teaching again? No, she’ll grow up. However, she does need to learn that actions have consequences and so I think that the suspension is justified. It may also teache her students to be more responsible with social media.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508179419 Melina Santos

    This is the problem with social networking these days, knowing when to post certain things and when not to post them. In this case, as a teacher (or as any other profession for that matter), you have to realize that the content of your posts and photos will have to be much more discrete and obviously appropriate. Nothing is private anymore and that was a dumb mistake on her behalf.

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