By Lauren Rearick
A Texas school board voted unanimously in favor of “proposed termination” for a teacher who made racist statements about students on social media.
During a special session on Tuesday, June 4, the Fort Worth Independent School District school board recommended the termination of Georgia Clark, an English teacher at Amon Carter-Riverside High School, the Dallas Statesman reported. The recommendation for Clark’s termination comes after the discovery of her Twitter account, which was filled with xenophobic and racist tweets and has since been deleted, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
On the account, which Clark claimed was meant to be a private conversation between President Donald Trump and herself, she had requested the President to remove students of a certain ethnicity from the school where she worked. Eighty-six thousand students attend schools throughout the Fort Worth School District and 63 percent of those students are Latinx or Hispanic, KXAS notes.
The discovery comes at a time of continued targeting of undocumented people by the Trump administration. In 2015, the then-candidate kicked off his campaign by disparaging Mexicans and Latinx people broadly, and has spent a considerable bulk of his tenure yelling about an expensive wall at the U.S./Mexico border that wouldn’t even work. His administration has also been marked by pointedly cruel family separation policies, and the deaths of at least six children who migrated to the United States from Central American countries.
Clark’s tweeted request to remove students from the school goes against Plyler vs. Doe, a 1982 Supreme Court ruling that made it illegal for a school to deny any student in grades Kindergarten through 12 the right to a free education because of their immigration status.
Fort Worth School District Board of Education President Jacinto Ramos Jr. made reference to the case in a press release regarding Tuesday’s meeting. “The United States Supreme Court has expressly held that no student may be denied a public education based upon their citizenship status or lack thereof. We wish to ensure these students and their parents and/or guardians that all students are welcome in Fort Worth ISD and each will be treated with dignity and respect,” he said.
Superintendent Kent Scribner told the Fort-Worth Star Telegram that the district’s investigation into Clark’s tweets had also revealed other instances of troubling behavior from the teacher. The Dallas Statesman detailed some of the findings, including one report from a student who claimed Clark asked to “see their papers” when they asked to use the restroom; Clark told school investigators that the conversation never happened. Clark was previously suspended in 2013 for a series of racist remarks she made toward students, NBC 5 Dallas Fort Worth confirmed.
At Tuesday’s meeting, 15 people spoke in support of terminating Clark; no one spoke in favor of Clark remaining on with the district. United Fort Worth, an organization aimed at combating immigration discrimination, encouraged the public to attend as a means of showing support for the immigrant youth attending the school, while Fort Worth Republican Women asked for supporters to speak against the firing of Clark.
In a statement made after Tuesday’s meeting, Scribner said it was the goal of Fort Worth School District to treat every student with “dignity and respect.” He pointed to the information gathered about Clark through the investigation as the basis for their decision: “We believe this is the most responsible recommendation at this time.”
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Clark, a contracted employee of the school, has 15 days to appeal the school board’s decision. In the meantime, she remains on paid administrative leave, which began May 29.