Fort Worth Teacher Wins Appeal To Get Job Back After Tweeting Trump To ‘Remove’ Undocumented Students
In the past couple of years, we’ve seen several instances in which school staff made racist comments either toward students or behaved in a discriminatory manner on the school campus. Typically, not much is done about it. In some cases, the school will conduct an investigation, a teacher may be perhaps suspended for a day or so, but for the most part, it is back to business as usual. The students affected by their racist words and behavior must continue to be taught by them or abide by their authority. It’s an unjust situation. But at least one school district did fight back against a racist teacher and will continue to do so. Here’s how it all went down.
A teacher in Texas was fired after she made public statements on Twitter that she wanted to report undocumented students at her school.
The incident in question happened in May in which Georgia Clark, a then English teacher in Fort Worth, Texas, tweeted directly at President Donald Trump that she not only wanted to report undocumented students but also requested assistance to combat the undocumented community in the area.
“Mr. President, Fort Worth Independent School District, is loaded with illegal students from Mexico,” Clark tweeted back on May 17, 2018. “Anything you can do to remove the illegals from Fort Worth would be greatly appreciated.” Her account has since been deleted but the screenshots remain forever.”
Clark sent the tweets to the President, but she believed her tweets her private messages. Her comments were indeed public, and that’s how the entire school and community were made aware of her remarks.
While the school board members voted unanimously to fire Clark this spring, she fought back and appealed her case. Now a Texas commissioner has ruled that the school district either gives her back her job or pays her a year’s worth of her salary.
“The day the petitioner would have been reinstated is the day respondent tenders petitioner payment in full,” the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, Mike Morath, wrote in the ruling, according to the New York Times.
An independent examiner also reported that Clark’s series of tweets to the President was a form of “free speech.”
“Clark’s tweets are statements of a citizen on a matter of public concern protected by the United States Constitution and do not contravene or impair policies or proper performance of the district’s functions,” the report said, according to the Times.
Despite the fact that the report’s finding’s that her tweets were considered “free speech,” what type of parent would want Clark teaching students who are undeniably discriminatory against Latino kids?
“I’m very surprised and concerned that this cruel woman has been berating our precious children for years,” a woman earlier this year, according to the Washington Post.
“Her comments were hurtful, irresponsible, misleading, and distrustful to the students she is supposed to protect and educate,” another woman said to the board in June.
The school district said they stand by their decision to fire Clark and will appeal to the commissioner’s ruling.
“The Commissioner’s decision was not based on the merits of the case but rather a procedural technicality with which the District does not agree,” the school district said in a statement. “Mr. Morath said, in his ruling, that the board did not adopt a finding that good cause exists to terminate Ms. Clark’s contract. Yet, the Board of Trustees did, in fact, do just that in its decision on September 17. Accordingly, the Fort Worth ISD will appeal this decision and will do so in the next 20 days.” Furthermore, Superintendent Kent P. Scribner said: “We stand by our decision because we firmly believe this is in the best interests of all students.”
Clark said she wants her job back, and that she can still be a good teacher despite her political point of view.
In an interview with WFAA, Clark was asked how she would be able to do her job properly and teach Latino students. To that, she responded by saying, “If you need someone to help your child graduate, you’re looking at her right here.”
What do you think? Should Clark return to her job or should the school district pay her a year’s worth of her salary?