Veronica Fleming, a teacher in east Naples, Florida, was reassigned Thursday after allegedly posting a Facebook comment criticizing the “A Day Without Immigrants” movement, and thanking Donald Trump for mass deportation, according to the Naples Daily News.
On Thursday, February 16, thousands of immigrants stayed home from work and school to “protest Trump’s administration policies toward them” as a component of the “A Day Without Immigrants” movement.
That very same day, possibly during school hours, a computer lab teacher at Parkside Elementary School, where 96 percent of the student body are minorities, criticized the “A Day Without Immigrants” movement that raised concerns for several parents.
In a Facebook post, Fleming reportedly posted an article from the Chicago Tribune, along with a comment that stated the following.
“The funny part about immigrants staying home is the rest of us who pay for them are here at work like we’ve always been. Looks like less mouths to feed today. Have fun while you still can. So glad to hear about massive deportation. Let’s make America great again. Thanks Donald Trump!”
SW Florida teacher in hot water after anti-immigrant post on social media: https://t.co/o6pnkfLghZ
— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) February 17, 2017
Parents who saw the post were outraged and did not hesitate to contact officials at Parkside Elementary School regarding the teacher’s anti-immigrant comment.
Gabriela Marquez has two children attending school at Parkside Elementary, and she stated that she was made aware of the teacher’s post about the “A Day Without Immigrants” movement during her lunch break at work.
Reading the Florida teacher’s comment prompted Marquez to contact the school principal, Tamie Stewart.
“The whole school was hurt about the comment,” said Marquez. “Most of the students are Latinos. No one understands why she would comment something like that.”
When Marquez’s children reported to school the following day, they told her that the principal made an announcement stating that Fleming made a mistake when she thanked Trump for mass deportation.
The principal went on to tell the students that they were loved.
Fleming has since deleted the anti-immigrant comment from her Facebook page, and she was reassigned to administration duties.
“My kids love this school,” Marquez said. “My husband and I love this school. We know the teachers love their students. This was just one bad teacher.”
“What hurts is that Ms. Fleming works at an elementary school. These are little kids. What is she teaching them? How was she treating them just because they’re Latinos?”
— ABC Action News (@abcactionnews) February 17, 2017
The elementary school principal also sent a letter home with families.
“I want to ensure our families that this person’s individual post is not at all reflective of our school staff in any way.
“Our actions and work, some mentioned above, are the true reflection of how much we love and care about our children and families and how passionate we are about our wonderful school community.”
Greg Turchette, a spokesman for Collier County Public Schools, stated that “this is a very tight-knit neighborhood school that stands for inclusion. The teachers have nothing but love for these students. Anything else is not a reflection of the school.”
Since the teacher’s Facebook post about the “A Day Without Immigrants” movement came about, over 2,000 people signed an online petition to have the Collier County School District fire the teacher.
“We understand that as a private citizen Mrs. Fleming should be allowed to express herself, however, as an educator at a school composed of predominantly Hispanic, Haitian, and students of other minorities, one should always be professional and behave as an impartial authority figure that is held to higher standards.”
School officials say the elementary school teacher will remain on administrative duties pending a comprehensive investigation.
[Featured Image By Aleksandar Petrovic/iStock]