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Tenured First Grade Teacher Explains ‘Future Criminals’ Description At Hearing

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New Jersey first grade teacher who wrote that she was a “warden for future criminals” on Facebook says she was speaking “out of frustration to their behavior.”

Jennifer O’Brien defended herself Wednesday at an administrative hearing that will determine whether the tenured Paterson teacher should lose her job.

O’Brien told an administrative law judge she wrote the post in exasperation because six or seven unruly first-graders kept disrupting her lessons. She said one boy had recently hit her.

The teacher posted her remark to 333 friends on March 28. However, it was forwarded and led critics to call her comment racist.

O’Brien’s lawyer, Nancy Oxfeld, tells The Record newspaper the post was a mistake but not racist.

A decision on whether O’Brien will keep her job is expected in November.

Is the administrative hearing an overreaction? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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