US teacher fired over immigrant student tweets

Georgia ClarkImage copyright

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Georgia Clark told the school board she thought the tweets were private

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A Texas school district has fired a high school teacher who tweeted to US President Donald Trump to ask for help reporting illegal immigrant students.

Georgia Clark, an English teacher in Fort Worth, complained on 17 May about “illegal students from Mexico”, adding: “I need protection from recrimination”.

She told school officials that she “did not realise the tweets were public,” school officials wrote in a report.

Ms Clark was fired on Tuesday, but has 15 days to appeal the decision.

What exactly did she write?

The tweets, under her now-deleted @Rebecca1939 Twitter account, began about three weeks ago when she described the school district as “loaded with illegal students from Mexico”, and suggested there should be someone at the school “who should be actively investigating & removing illegals that are in the public school system”.

“Anything you can do to remove the illegals from Fort Worth would be greatly appreciated,” she wrote in a separate tweet.

Ms Clark added that she needed guarantees that her identity would stay anonymous after action was taken, writing: “Texas will not protect whistle blowers. The Mexicans refuse to honour our flag.”

But in another tweet, she posted her two phone numbers, adding: “Georgia Clark is my real name.”

What has reaction been?

On Tuesday night the Fort Worth Independent School Board of Trustees unanimously voted to terminate her contract after several immigrants and immigrant rights groups spoke to the committee to condemn her actions.

During the meeting, 15 people spoke in support of her firing, according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Ms Clark was not present at the meeting.

Immigrant advocacy group United Fort Worth criticised Ms Clark as a teacher “who wants to turn classrooms into deportation zones.”

In a statement after the vote, Superintendent Kent Scribner praised the board for their “strong record of supporting students and their quest for success, college, career and community leadership”.

“Fort Worth serves 86,000 students, and it is our goal that we treat each one with dignity and respect, and based on the information that we have, we think this is the most responsible recommendation at this time.”

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A Facebook group called Fort Worth Republican Women, defended the teacher and lashed out officials who they said were violating her constitutional right to free speech.

“The students were offended by a teacher asking the President, Donald J Trump, to enforce the law so she’s disciplined?” the group wrote.

“Would the same be true if another teacher supported illegal immigration?”

In 1982, the US Supreme Court ruled that public schools are required to teach children, regardless of their immigration status.

Schools are prohibited from asking parents about immigration status or reporting family members to authorities.

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