A Dallas Independent School District teacher is in hot water over her mock assassination of President Donald Trump. According to Fox News, Payal Modi, an art teacher at Adamson High School in Dallas, Texas, is at the center of controversy due to a disturbing video she posted on Instagram. It has been reported that the eight-second clip captured the teacher aiming a gun at a projection screen with Donald Trump’s image on display.
In the video, reportedly filmed on the day of Trump’s presidential inauguration, Modi could be heard yelling, “Die!” as she simulated firing the toy gun at the projection screen. When she posted the clip on Instagram, the caption read, “Watching the #inauguration in my classroom like… #no #stop #denial #squirtgun #hypocrisy #powerless.”
— Sheri Allen Chaves (@SherChavez) January 27, 2017
Check out the video below:
*Warning: Video may be offensive to some viewers.*
Although the water gun poses no threat, the implication has landed her in hot water. Almost immediately after she posted the video to Instagram, it began circulating and it didn’t take long for the threatening clip to go viral. Modi has since removed the video from her Instagram account, but the video is still circulating. Now, social media users are demanding that she be terminated and investigated for the threatening assassination clip.
Here are a few of the tweets:
UPDATE: Teacher who performed a mock assassination of Trump has been placed on "administrative leave." https://t.co/YF6jeLf57U
— Deplorable Vet ???????? (@KGBVeteran) January 26, 2017
However, social media users aren’t the only people complaining. Parents and students of Adamson High School have also expressed disdain over the careless clip. “It’s supposed to be in a professional way, in a conduct to where you teach your students,” said parent Christina Ortiz. “You have a freedom of speech and opinion, but you need to do it properly.”
The video has garnered so much backlash that the Dallas Independent School District has taken action and released a statement about the incident. According to Dallas Morning News, there is now an open investigation into the mock assassination of Donald Trump.
“Today, we were made aware of a social media posting being circulated involving a teacher at W. H. Adamson High School. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave and the district has opened an investigation. This is a personnel matter and, as such, we cannot comment.”
The Secret Service has been made aware of the incident, but could not offer any information about the incident due to the ongoing investigation. Although no charges have been filed against Modi, there is a possibility she could be charged with a hate crime. In the state of Texas, Modi’s actions could be categorized as a hate crime.
“The Texas Hate Crimes Act, recorded in Chapter 411.046 of the Texas Government Code, categorizes any crimes that are perceivably motivated by “prejudice, hatred, or advocacy of violence” as hate crimes. Like the FBI’s classification determiners, these crimes are linked to any prejudices directed at gender, gender identity, religion, disability, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and religion.”
In Texas, threats toward a president come with serious consequences. According to Legal Beagle, uttering a threat toward a president carries the possibility of a federal felony, class D. Ironically, another Dallas resident faced a similar situation after threatening former President Barack Obama.
“An email with a negative comment like “I could just kill him!” may be intercepted and investigated federally. In 2010, a Dallas man was arrested for making a Craigslist post stating: “It is time for Obama to die.” He was given a sentence of two years in prison.”
Do you think Payal Modi should face charges for the classroom mock assassination of Donald Trump? Share your thoughts.
[Featured Image by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images]