CHICAGO (CBS) — Earlier this week, we told you about a Chicago Public Schools dean under investigation for questionable social media posts.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot just promised to crack down on city employees and what they display on their personal platforms.READ MORE: South Side Football Team Heads To National Championship With Help From Donations
CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas continues to push for answers.
It was a story about social media that sparked a debate on social media.
When we shared our story about a CPS dean of discipline being investigated for homophobic jokes on Facebook, it got a variety of replies.
From “This guy is a goof but this is free speech” to “freedom of speech is not freedom of consequence.”
University of Chicago law professor Genevieve Lakier said employers ordinarily are allowed to mandate what you can and cannot post on social media in your free time on your own device. Lakier said employers not only can, but do.
“The general takeaway is that employers have a lot of power to both monitor and regulate an employee’s social media posts,” Lakier said.
He said that includes public employers.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Abel Osundairo, One Of Two Brothers Who Said He Was Paid To Help Stage Attack, Says Smollett 'Wanted Me To Fake Beat Him Up'
But it could boil down to the district’s policy.
In this case, the dean was on a voluntary leave of absence during at least some of the posts.
The CPS website lists strict rules against discriminatory content using the district’s tech resources, but it does not say anything about employees using their own devices on their own time.
Just last week, coincidentally, Lightfoot tackled the subject of social media during a news conference about a Chicago Police Officer charged in the January 6th insurrection.
“You will not be paid by the taxpayers of this city to be a hateful member of our community. I’ve asked Nancy Andrade, head of our human rights commission, to convene a panel of experts to review all the tools and measures including our social media policy, to make sure the city employees uphold the city’s longstanding anti-discrimination and anti-hate policies. We will be vigorous in the enforcement,” Lightfoot said.
We’ve asked City Hall whether that policy review will include Chicago Public Schools. They released this statement late Thursday:
“The Mayor has directed Commissioner Andrade to convene a committee to review all the tools and measures including, our social media policy, to ensure city employees uphold longstanding anti-discrimination and anti-hate policies. The committee will then provide recommendations to the office of the Commission on Human Relations.”
The dean’s posts are being investigated by the district’s inspector general, and the district called them deeply concerning and said they don’t align with their values.MORE NEWS: Former Chicago Park District Supervisor Mauricio Ramirez Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Another 16-Year-Old Lifeguard
They would not elaborate on whether they have any rules on what an employee posts from home.