Jeremy Spencer was the associate superintendent of virtual instruction for the Georgia Department of Education. Yesterday, he was fired after some of his Facebook posts were brought to light in the online blog of Atlanata Journal-Constitution.
He was hired last year and listed his job/employer on his personal Facebook page. He used this page to communicate with educators around the state about issues directly tied to his job. However, he also used the same Facebook account to post some extremely bigoted content. Spencer targeted minorities and gays in his contempt. For example, in a discussion about Finland’s school’s, Spencer indicated that he felt they were in better shape because they were all-white. In a discussion about President Obama, someone on his page posted a picture of a black man hanging from a tree as a solution to dealing with the President. Although Spencer didn’t post it, he did nothing to remove it from his page. On a comment about a Gay Pride Festivus pole appearing in the Georgia state house, Spencer posted “Gays and poles; now that just ain’t fittin”.
Bloggers at the AJC were tipped off by a concerned individual who happened across Spencer’s page. One of its writers contacted a spokesperson for the GA Department of Education, Matt Cardoza, about what was on the page and followed up with an email containing screenshots to both Cardoza and Jeremy Spencer. In less that 1.5 hours, Jeremy Spencer deleted his Facebook page.
The story didn’t stop there, however. Less than 24 hours later, Spencer was out of a job. According to DOE spokesperson Cardoza, Spencer resigned to avoid going through the firing process.
Georgia Schools Superintendent Richard Woods issued a statement on Spencer’s exit:
“Like most people, I was disheartened and disgusted to see the posts made by Mr. Spencer on his Facebook page. These posts in no way reflect my opinions, or those of the Department of Education.
As of this morning, Mr. Spencer is no longer an employee of the Department of Education. My job, and the job of all employees at the Department of Education, is to look out for the educational well-being of all of Georgia’s 1.7 million students, and more than 100,000 teachers and educators.”