A Republican women’s group in Fort Worth, Texas is defending a local teacher — who was fired for tweeting at President Trump about “removing illegals” from her school district — and her right to speak out against illegal immigration.
Kay Moreno, a member and former president of Forth Worth Republican Women, told TPM the group’s support lies solely in the teacher’s right to talk about the “burdens” of illegal immigration on her school “without the fear of being fired,” as long as it’s done in an appropriate setting.
“While we don’t know all the things involved in rules she might have violated with her employer, we don’t know policies concerning social media or any of that kind of thing, the position of the club is the teacher should not be fired for stating that coming into the country illegally is breaking the law and is putting a burden on our schools,” Moreno told TPM. “The thing about it is we don’t know all the reasons why she was fired, there could be a lot of extenuating circumstances. She could’ve violated policies that we don’t know about. We have read there were some past employment issues with this teacher, but we’re simply making the statement that no one should be fired from their jobs for believing that illegal immigration is wrong.”
As local reports surfaced that the Forth Worth Independent School District board would vote on the termination of Carter-Riverside High School English teacher Georgia Clark earlier this week, the GOP group posted their support for her on Facebook and encouraged members to write to the board to oppose her firing.
The eight-person school board ultimately voted unanimously to remove Clark. She has been on administrative leave since the school district launched an investigation into her tweets, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Clark has 15 days to appeal to the state for a hearing, but she will be on paid leave until that happens.
Clark reportedly thought the tweets were private messages sent directly to President Trump. She wrote on numerous occasions that her school was becoming “loaded with illegal students” and it was being “taken over” by undocumented kids and “drug dealers.”
But Clark’s anti-immigrant infractions allegedly go beyond just Trump tweets.
Activists claim students have filed multiple complaints against Clark over the years for racist behavior.
“It’s not something new,” Giovanny Torres, a steering committee member of United Fort Worth, an immigrant activist group, told TPM. During the school board meeting several parents and members of United Fort Worth shared complaints they’d heard from students or experienced themselves as former students. Many said Clark — who has been teaching in the district since 1998 — segregated students in her English classroom by race. The Star-Telegram obtained Clark’s employment record and reported she has a history of “racially insensitive” behavior.
Another parent confirmed the same story to CNN Tuesday.
“One time 18 students stood up from her class said that they had been separated in their classroom for activities by ethnicity, with one side being ‘little Mexico’ and one side being ‘white bread’ or ‘America’ and it also included white and black students,” parent Lizzie Maldonado told CNN. “That’s obviously hugely traumatic and detrimental for students who are in that classroom.”
Fort Worth School District mother on teacher fired for tweeting at Trump about "removing illegals" from school: How long before she called ICE on her students? pic.twitter.com/rv4CVqXy1g
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) June 6, 2019
While Torres said his group is supportive of everyone’s right’s to free speech, he said Clark’s behavior crossed the line.
“This is something that isn’t allowed. … Anybody that is in a public school K-12, regardless of their documentation to be in the United States, can’t be neglected a public education,” he said, pointing out that Clark’s tweets were essentially an effort to get her own students deported.
“This is where we see an issue with it because we know that she has racist tendencies, we have accounts of this and when she says, ‘oh it’s freedom of speech’ or ‘I’m just trying to solve an issue,’ well, that becomes a problem because she is a teacher and we know that while she is putting this in a public space, having this in a classroom is something that civil rights leaders have fought against going back 60 years,” he said. This isn’t a freedom of speech thing.”