Parents of autistic children report special education teacher from California for remarks on Facebook


The Facebook posting by Torrance special education teacher Suzanne Hutton.


Torrance, California – Parents submit screen shots of Facebook posts from Dec 5th before an IEP meeting.

Suzanne Hutton a special-education teacher from Torrance Unified School District has been placed on administrative leave following comments she posted to Facebook about an upcoming Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting.

Ms Hutton had no restrictions on the posts and were public for parents to easily monitor and take screen shots. This raises the ongoing issue regarding the personal use of social media and the violation of confidentiality.

The San Jose Mercury News reported,

The meeting began at 9 a.m. By 9:15 a.m., parents of another child in the class had screen-grabbed the post and emailed it to Jacqueline Williams, the district’s director of special education. By the time the meeting ended at 10:30 a.m., an attorney who represents the school district had seen the email and forwarded it to human resources, according to one of the parents who’d been monitoring the teacher’s posts. The next morning, Hutton was removed from the classroom.

Ms Hutton’s comments and posts that the parents collected only tend to reinforce the concern that most parents of autistic children fear. Many parents worry that they are viewed by professionals as “not knowing what they are talking about” when it come to issues around the best educational needs or concerns of their child.

Talking with the Mercury News, one mother of an autistic child said,

“You cross the line when you call a student severely impacted with autism a ‘hot mess. And she’s not just saying that to friends after work. She’s saying this on a completely public, open forum, where anyone can go see it.”

The original article in the San Jose Mercury News can be read here.