Friending people on Facebook is a good way to stay in touch but it's not always a good idea to friend everyone you know. Say you work as a jailer and you friend a cute female inmate; that will probably end with you fired.
How do we know this? It happened to Dewayne Powers, a Georgia jail deputy.
Powers wasn't the only jailer who got in trouble for friending the 23-year-old inmate, reports NBC News. Andrea Rogers resigned after a hearing where he was asked about his contact with the young woman.
Spoiler alert: A jailer flirting with inmates is not an approved activity.
Powers was fired not only for friending the inmate, but also for sending her text messages that were 'highly inappropriate,' according to Chief Deputy Lee Weems.
Neither of the men has been charged with any offense beyond the internal investigation. But their behavior was far from appropriate.
Powers's reported behavior could be construed as sexual harassment if the inmate, who is still unnamed, wanted to file a suit. His position of power makes the allegedly flirtatious text messages more problematic than if he was her peer.
Weems rationale for firing Powers echoes this sentiment. Jailers could be Facebook friends with an individual who is later arrested and jailed but friending a current inmate could make them feel 'targeted,' he told the Oconee Patch.
There is an argument that the Facebook friending was harmless but both men also allegedly had some sexually-charged conversations with the young woman, according to news reports.
Why they thought it was appropriate to flirt with an inmate while on the job is anybody's guess.
Rogers voluntarily resigned and Powers did not to appeal the decision to fire him which is probably for the best. While the two jailers could now continue their Facebook friendship with this woman, they probably won't. After all, it was her boyfriend who reported the incident.
- Dewayne Powers, Georgia Jailer, Fired After Facebook Friend Requesting Female Prisoner (Huffington Post)
- Prisoner Rights & Resources (FindLaw)
- NYC Teachers Can't Friend Students on Facebook (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)