A Texas English teacher has been placed on unpaid leave, and will soon be fired, after posting a tweet filled with expletives and racially-insensitive content related to the events in Ferguson, Missouri.
WFAA in Dallas, TX reports that on Friday, Vinita Hegwood of Duncanville High School posted the offensive tweet.
Who the f*ck made you dumb duck a** crackers think I give a squat f*ck about your opinions about my opinions RE: #Ferguson? Kill yourselves.”
Hegwood’s Twitter account has since been taken down. Because of this, it’s impossible to give the context in which the offending tweet was made. However, Fox News speculates that Hegwood may have been responding to angry comments directed at her.
Regardless of the context, the tweet was brought to the attention of school administrators over the weekend. On Sunday, the Duncanville School District issued a statement saying that the tweet was solely Ms. Hegwood’s, and does not reflect the views of the district.
As an individual, Ms. Vinita Hegwood expressed an opinion on social media that is solely her own. She used her personal social media account to make remarks that are offensive. While everyone has the right to free speech, as a teacher in the district, we believe the comments that are alleged to be made by Ms. Hegwood are absolutely reprehensible and we do not condone it.”
This morning, the Duncanville School District met to discuss Ms. Hegwood and her tweet, and the decision was made to fire her.
Early this morning district officials met with Ms. Hegwood, the teacher who stated reprehensible personal opinions on her personal social media account. The district took swift action and exercised the fullest disciplinary action allowed under district policy. Ms. Hegwood was placed on suspension without pay pending discharge. Under state law, a school district’s Board of Trustees “fires” staff members, and the district will pursue that action with the board soon. In the meantime, the teacher has been placed on suspension without pay pending discharge.”
In several states – including, apparently, Texas – an employee can be fired for their activities on social media in their personal time. Last winter, marketing executive Justine Sacco was fired from her job for posting a racist tweet about going to Africa and getting AIDS.
Do you think Ms. Hegwood should be fired for her tweet?
[Images courtesy of: Fox News, Dallas Morning News]