Carly McKinney, aka CarlyCrunkBear: Decision on tweeting teacher expected tomorrow
Late last month, Overland High teacher Carly McKinney made international headlines after being suspended in the wake of tweets featuring NSFW photos and jokes about drugs; examples below.
Since then, there's been a month of silence from the Cherry Creek School District. But according to a district spokeswoman, that quiet is about to end.
"We are nearing a conclusion," notes the district's Tustin Amole. "I hope to have something no later than tomorrow afternoon."
As we've reported, 9News received a tip about McKinney's account, @crunk_bear, which she told the station she shares with a friend. She insisted that someone with access to the account had posted items without her say-so, including photos like this one....
...and this one.
Also featured were tweets like "Naked. Wet. Stoned" and "Watching a drug bust go down in the parking lot. It's funny cuz I have weed in my car in the staff parking lot."
Afterward, McKinney, a first-year teacher still in her probationary period, was put on paid administrative leave so that the school district could look into whether she violated the drug-free-school-zone policy or tweeted on school time.
In regard to the former question, the answer appears to be "no." Last week, 9News reported that McKinney would not face drug charges because the Aurora police "could not substantiate the tweets or find any evidence of any crime."
That leaves possible administrative punishment, and perhaps even dismissal -- not for exercising her right to free speech, presumably, but for other offenses, such as tweeting while on the job.
In the meantime, Twitter Nation has sprang to her defense.
Among those who defended McKinney on social media was Diplo, an acclaimed DJ and producer who's worked with stars such as M.I.A. , who retweeted the following McKinney photo. It was accompanied by the message, "Listening to @diplo in the shower leads to this... #expressyourself #whitegirlass #twerk #twerkteam."
After the McKinney story broke, Diplo tweeted about her situation....
Tomorrow I'm gonna use all my internet mumbojumbo to get #freecrunkbear trending !! Ok so be prepared
— dıpןo (@diplo) January 31, 2013
...and followed up with this:
Ok fuck it.. My peoples let's free crunkbear now!
— dıpןo (@diplo) January 31, 2013
He also shared this graphic:
Even though more than four weeks have passed since then, #freecrunkbear tweets continue to appear. Here are some recent examples:
— Kevin Laines(@brofessorKevin) February 28, 2013
— Kyle Aguilar (@Kyle_ACA) March 4, 2013
— Jackson Lamme (@JacksonLamme1) March 3, 2013
McKinney's been gone since January, but she's not forgotten.
More from our Follow That Story archive: "Carly McKinney, teacher suspended over hot Twitter posts, backed by #FreeCrunkBear."
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