A Single Mother Says She Was Fired From Her Job After Her Coworker Reported Her TikTok Post to School Officials
She joked on TikTok her kids prevented her from going to work early but she still stopped for Starbucks.
A single mother claimed in a recent series of TikTok videos that she was fired from her job in May as a teacher after her coworker reported one of her videos as inappropriate to the school's administration.
Nicole Johnson, 29, who was working as a special-education paraprofessional, said in a recent video that a coworker "turned in" one of her TikTok videos to the school administration to get her fired and that the coworker knew Johnson was on a "thin line."
The video that was reported, posted on May 14, showed Johnson drinking from a Starbucks cup with the caption, "Me telling my coworkers there is no way I can come in early cause I have kids, but yet I arrive with a Starbucks daily."
"I put this TikTok out there, didn't even, like, think anyone was going to do anything with it. I didn't think I could get fired because I didn't think it was unprofessional. It doesn't swear. It's not negative. It's not harassing. It is literally just me being like, 'I can't come into work early, but I have a Starbucks,'" Johnson said in a TikTok on Thursday.
The May video had garnered over 165,000 views as of Tuesday.
Johnson or her former employer did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.
The series of events that Johnson said led to her being fired began in November.
In a video posted this past week on TikTok, Johnson said she was put on administrative leave for three weeks in November for uploading "unprofessional TikToks" and "harassment of a coworker."
According to Johnson, the "unprofessional TikToks" she posted in November were intended to share the story of her niece, who suffered a traumatic brain injury.
According to a TikTok video that highlights the series of events leading to her termination, Johnson claims that her sister notified her that one of her co-workers was present at the time her niece received the brain injury. Johnson adds that people found out who the person was and contacted human resources, leading to her administrative leave.
@nicoleybridget3 Replying to @James Bouman466 ♬ Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) [2018 Remaster] - Kate Bush
She said she then was emailed by administrators when she came back from administrative leave in December over her late attendance, which she said was caused by her struggles with ADHD and being a single mother. She said she then asked for accommodations.
In May, after she posted the video about her Starbucks habits, Johnson said she was called into a meeting to discuss her social-media posts. She said in her videos that a human-resources employee printed out four colored copies of a photo of the TikTok video, which she said was what got her fired.
"They whipped out this full-colored picture of someone taking a picture of someone's phone, 'cause we can't screenshot apparently, and I could tell who was doing the pictures and whose phone, and all that. Like, I knew who it was instantly," Johnson said.
Johnson continued by saying that the administration that fired her perceived the video as a "slap in the face" because it interpreted the hashtag #FYP as "F you people," instead of "for-you page."
"I look at them, and I was like, 'That's for-your page,'" she said. "And I tried to explain it to them, but they're all, like — they're not on TikTok, and so they tried to end it with, 'Well, it also means F you people.'"
In a follow-up video, Johnson said the reason she posted the original video was that her job sometimes asked her to come in early and she saw a TikTok video from other users about the same issue. So she said she decided to recreate it.
Johnson continued the video by saying she made the original TikTok private after two days, something she said she normally did. But it was too late.
"I'll never get to say goodbye to the students, though. They'll think I just left them," Johnson said on TikTok.
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