NewsNewsChannel 5 Investigates

Actions

MNPS holiday party sparks Twitter controversy

Posted: 3:34 PM, Dec 20, 2017
Updated: 2018-12-12 21:50:04Z
MNPS Holiday Party Sparks Twitter Controversy
MNPS Holiday Party Sparks Twitter Controversy
MNPS Holiday Party Sparks Twitter Controversy

A Metro Schools holiday party for Central Office staff has erupted into a social media controversy, ending with a district spokesperson blocking an MNPS teacher who questioned her Twitter posts.

The controversy began Monday when MNPS public information officer Michelle Michaud tweeted photos from the party with the caption: "HOHOHO! Santa hands out some holiday dough at the MNPS 2017 Holiday Hoedown."

That party, according to people familiar with the planning, included a bluegrass band.

Facebook posts by other MNPS employees recounted the "wonderful" door prizes, including a 65-inch television.

On Twitter, Metro teachers began asking Michaud why they weren't invited.

Teacher Theresa Wagner, an officer with the Metro Nashville Education Association, asked who funded the event.

"The teachers and school staff who do the real work got nothing," Wagner tweeted.

Another MNEA officer, teacher Michele Sheriff, responded sarcastically. "Nice. All this while teachers are stressed about not having enough paper for copies."

At that point, Michaud responded with the claim that "all Metro employees invited."

"We would never exclude our teachers from a holiday all hands recognition of hard work well done," she added.

On Twitter, several teachers responded that they never got an invitation.

"Still waiting to see the invite that was sent to ALL MNPS employees," Sheriff tweeted. "I've checked my MNPS email and don't see an invite."

At that point, according to a post by Sheriff, Michaud blocked the teacher from being able to follow her MNPS Twitter account.

Wagner suggested that Michaud reconsider her block list.

"It may not be the wisest thing to block MNPS employees from an account that is clearly identified as officially representing MNPS," Wagner tweeted.

In fact, Michaud has informed local media that initial notifications about snow closings this winter will occur on her MNPS Twitter account.

School board member Jill Speering weighed in, telling Sheriff: "I'm embarrassed that one of our employees would treat you this way."

Michaud has since deleted her tweets regarding the Holiday Hoedown.

Metro Director of Schools Shawn Joseph hasn't responded to tweets about the controversy, and Michaud's boss, Olivia Brown, did not respond to a text seeking her comment.