Teacher wants to work after drowning comment

February 6, 2012 1:20:52 PM PST
The teacher fired from her job at PS 203 has won a legal victory of sorts.

She hopes she can return to her job, but it doesn't appear her battle is over.

"The punishment is disproportionate to the crime. That's what hurts my feelings the most," said Christine Rubino, former teacher.

Christine Rubino's punishment, she says, is being fired from her teaching job.

Her crime was a comment on her Facebook page which schools officials said "warranted her termination."

"You make a mistake for one day you should not be punished so drastically," Rubino said.

One day after a young public school student tragically drowned during a field trip to the beach in June of 2010, Christine says she came home after a tough day with her 5th graders at PS 203 and wrote on her Facebook page, "After today, I am thinking the beach sounds like a wonderful idea for my 5th graders. I hate their guts! They are the devil's spawn."

"I was sorry from day one. I didn't know it would become such a big deal. I made a mistake. I think I paid the price whole heartedly. There should be forgiveness in the world, I am sorry," Rubino said.

A year ago, she was fired and unable to work full time.

Now a state Supreme Court judge has overturned her termination, writing in part: "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."

"It was a big punishment," Rubino said.

School officials, through the city's law department plan to appeal the ruling.

A spokesperson said that they, "Firmly believe that Ms. Rubino's comments, which the court found "repulsive," as well has her other conduct of which she was found guilty, "warranted her termination."

"I am sorry. I want to get back to my kids," Rubino said.

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