Coach fired, trainer suspended after Facebook posts

Published: Sep. 22, 2011 at 11:17 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2011 at 3:28 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A Myrtle Beach High School coach is out of a job, and a trainer suspended after school administration found out about posts the two made on Facebook criticizing the school's principal.

The former wrestling coach, Patrick Fischer, says he commented on a post trainer Jim Bell made about the administration's decision not to let him go to an away football game with the team. In that comment Fischer used Principal Nona Kerr's initials while calling her decisions poor.

Fischer says he and Bell made the posts about a month ago, and since he's been fired and Bell suspended, pending an investigation.

Horry County Schools officials acknowledged Bell wasn't serving his duties as trainer, but he continues to teach psychology at the school.

Media experts say the disciplinary action is a good example of how what one shares on social media almost never stays private.

"All you have to do is log on, create an account on Facebook and all of the sudden you're broadcasting to the whole world," said Dr. Wes Fondren, assistant professor and media expert at Coastal Carolina University.

Fondren says people should always ask themselves if they would share what they're posting online with almost anyone before they do it.

"If they make these comments on Twitter or Facebook or wherever, they've just forfeited control of that information. It's out there and they need to consider if they're willing to broadcast this to the world," said Fondren.

Bell tells WMBF News he does have an attorney representing him in this case. School officials will not comment since the matters are personnel issues.

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All rights reserved.