Student says embattled teacher segregated class by race as board still reviews case

The Fort Worth school board decided late Tuesday night to spend more time reviewing the case involving teacher Georgia Clark.

After holding a hearing in executive session, the board voted 8-0 to vote at a special meeting within 10 days on whether to reinstate Clark.

An independent hearing examiner recently recommended to reinstate Clark, a Carter-Riverside teacher whose Twitter posts against immigrant students at a mostly Hispanic campus sparked a national backlash.

The vote Tuesday came during a meeting that included public comment and a hearing in closed session.

Carter-Riverside High School senior Miracle Slover was one of about 10 people who asked the board not to reinstate Clark. During the public comment, no one took to the podium to ask the board to keep Clark employed.

Slover, 17, had Clark for English last year. She said the teacher segregated the class by race in the third week of school with Hispanics and African-American students in the back and white students in the front.

Slover said Clark sometimes referred to her as having “nappy” hair.

When asked how that made her feel, Slover answered, “Bad. That’s why I wrote seven essays.”

Slover said she penned essays about the classroom climate to the school administration, but Clark’s actions weren’t addressed until after the teacher took to Twitter to push for an immigration crackdown on her campus.

Slover said after an incident in which Hispanic students believed Clark asked them to show papers as an anti-immigrant slur, many responded by not showing up for the class.

Several speakers told the board of how they too had encountered racism as students, including being told not to talk in Spanish or Japanese.

Clark’s case was heard in the executive session portion of the school board meeting.

Earlier this month, a hearing examiner issued a recommendation that called for the district to reinstate Clark. Robert C. Prather Sr. was the independent hearing examiner assigned to the case. He issued a 76-page report.

“It is recommended that the FWISD administration’s proposed termination of the Continuing contract of Georgia Clark is not justified, is not supported by the evidence, should not be approved and should not be upheld and that Georgia Clark’s appeal of the proposed termination be Granted and that FWISD decline to terminate the employment of Georgia Clark,” Prather said.

Earlier in the day, Clark told a reporter with WFAA that the district didn’t follow procedure in her case and that she wants her job back.

“I want to work with students who truly need my help,” Clark told the television station. “I need my job back and those kids need me too.”

Asked if she regrets the tweets, Clark answered: “No, I don’t. ... Because frankly God was saying, ‘It’s time. You need to do this now.’”

The Georgia Clark case

Clark, an English teacher, was placed on administrative leave in May after the district was alerted about Twitter posts that she directed to President Donald Trump. She told a district investigator she thought the messages were private.

In June, the Fort Worth school board voted 8-0 in favor of Clark’s “proposed termination.” Superintendent Kent P. Scribner recommended that Clark be terminated based on her use of racially insensitive language and her abuse of social media.

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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.