Fort Worth

Teacher who made anti-immigrant tweets no longer Fort Worth school district employee

English teacher Georgia Clark, who took to social media to ask President Donald Trump to crack down on immigration at Fort Worth’s Carter-Riverside High School, is no longer employed by the school district.

Clark’s termination came with an 8-0 vote by the Fort Worth school board. The vote followed months of administrative and legal hearings and moves that began in May when Clark’s tweets drew complaints to the district that she was targeting Hispanic students in bigoted tweets.

“We made a decision today to uphold the recommendation from the superintendent and administration,” said Jacinto “Cinto” Ramos Jr., president of the school board, told reporters after the vote was taken. “We felt there was good cause to terminate the contract of Ms. Georgia Clark.”

Ramos declined to answer any more questions related to the issue.

A message to Clark’s attorney wasn’t immediately returned Tuesday evening.

Clark can appeal the board’s decision directly to the Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, according to school officials.

The meeting Tuesday marked the second time in a week that the board went into closed session to discuss the Clark case. The Clark case was the only item on the agenda for this specially called meeting.

It began with a public comment section that included about 10 speakers. Most asked the school board to fire Clark because they said her comments on social media were viewed as attacks on students.

“There’s no way in hell this woman should be teaching on any level,” said Waymond Brown.

One speaker, James Clark of Azle, defended Clark. He said he is not related to the teacher and was moved to speak up because he believes immigrants with no legal status have more rights than U.S. citizens.

“Now, teachers are thrown under the bus for the good of illegals,” James Clark told the board.

Earlier this month, an independent hearing examiner recommended that the board reinstate Clark, a Carter-Riverside teacher whose Twitter posts against immigrant students at a mostly Hispanic campus sparked a national backlash.

The school board rejected the examiner’s recommendation and upheld an earlier decision to terminate Clark’s continuing teacher contract for good cause under Chapter 21 of the Texas Education Code.

Last week, 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.’”

Clark 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.

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.

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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.