Six Texas prison guards aren’t feeling very cute since they lost their jobs after participating in controversial social media posts.
The Laredo Morning Times reported that four guards were fired and two more who were under investigation resigned after they were found to be part of the “Feeling Cute Challenge.”
The social media posts involve people taking selfies while wearing the uniforms of police officers, corrections officials and other public employees with captions that joke about what they might do on the job that day. The meme gained popularity nationwide.
As it turned out, some actual law enforcement officers seem to have taken part. The Houston Chronicle pointed out, for example, that the name of a woman who posted “Feeling cute, might just gas some inmates today, IDK” while wearing what appeared to be a Texas Department of Criminal Justice uniform, matched the name of a TDCJ employee.
Families of inmates in the Texas prison system spotted some of the images in an officers’ Facebook group and demanded action from department officials. Following an investigation, TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier posted about the issue on Facebook this week.
“Currently, six of the more than 25,000 correctional officers employed by this agency are under investigation for on- and off-duty conduct violations as a result of the alleged posting of inappropriate photographs and comments on social media,” he wrote. “These officers in no way represent the thousands of TDCJ employees who go to work every day taking public safety seriously in all ways. Investigations are ongoing.”
Collier did not reveal the names of the fired employees, their ranks, or the units in which they worked.