Education

Fort Worth teacher said she thought her tweets were private messages to President Trump

Teacher Georgia Clark told Fort Worth school district officials she didn’t realize her comments about illegal immigration were public when she reached out to President Donald Trump on Twitter.

Clark, an English teacher at Carter-Riverside High School, was placed on administrative leave with pay last week after a series of posts caused a backlash on social media. She urged Trump to pay attention to illegal immigration and specifically called out her campus.

“Mr. President, Fort Worth Independent School District is loaded with illegal students from Mexico,” read one of the posts linked to her account. “Carter-Riverside High School has been taken over by them.”

Clark was investigated by the district for inappropriate behavior and violating the social media policy, according to a summary filed by the district’s Office of Professional Standards. The summary states instances of inappropriate behavior by Clark have been substantiated and she faces possible termination.

The school board is set to review the case Tuesday during a meeting.

Clark’s attorney, Brandon Y. Brim, declined to comment on the case.

An investigation into separate complaints that Clark used racially insensitive language to students in the class is pending.

“Presently, Fort Worth ISD continues to receive multiple student/parent/community concerns regarding Ms. Clark’s case,” the summary report states. “Some callers have expressed anger on either side of the issue and some have threatened violence and/or property damage.”

An internal investigation

The district investigated the social media comments as well as racially insensitive comments she made in her classroom toward students, the summary states.

Clark told an investigator with the school district that she had a Twitter account and that her Twitter handle was @Rebecca1939.

The investigator presented Clark with copies of the posts and asked if they were hers.

“Ms. Clark acknowledged the tweets were hers, but she thought she was sending a private message to President Trump,” the summary report states. “Ms. Clark stated she did not realize the tweets were public.”

Tweet about school districts
A teacher in Fort Worth schools was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday after a series of comments on social media drew a backlash.

When Clark was shown a post in which she included her phone numbers, she told the investigator she had received messages calling her a “racist bitch,” the summary states.

Clark said she filed a police report and planned to consult an attorney before submitting a written statement.

As the investigation unfolded, the district learned that the campus was looking into separate allegations against Clark.

One student told district officials that on May 17, Clark brought up the topic of illegal immigration into the United States and said “Mexicans should not enter our country illegally.”

The witness said students became upset. One student asked to go to the bathroom and she allegedly responded by asking the student: “Show me your papers that are saying you are legal.”

Clark denied making statements about students’ immigration statuses.

Staff writer Mitch Mitchell contributed to this report.
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Diane Smith, a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 1997. Smith, who has covered municipal government, immigration and education, has won multiple awards for reporting, most recently as part of a Star-Telegram team recognized by the Headliners Foundation of Texas for coverage of child abuse and Fort Worth’s Las Vegas Trail area.
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