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Teacher Suspended After Racist Tweets Proving Twitter Is Good For Something

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A Texas teacher was suspended without pay pending discharge following an incident of sending out racist Tweets about the recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri. I was horrified when I read about this but also, thought to myself how stupid this teacher was to spout her racist nonsense on social media. Clearly, she knows it could cause her to lose her job and also, lets everyone know what a racist piece of scum she is. However, this just makes life easier for parents in the district so the racist educators can be rooted out and removed. It’s awful to see but I suppose it’s better than the teachers remaining employed regardless of the racist thoughts they may be thinking while imparting wisdom on our children.

Her Twitter account has since been removed but CNN has the details:

Vinita Hegwood, a high school English teacher at Duncanville High School near Dallas, allegedly sent the tweets from her personal Twitter account Friday.

“Who the (expletive) made you dumb (expletive) crackers think I give a squat (expletive) about your opinions. #Ferguson Kill yourselves,” read one of the messages.

Later that evening another tweet appeared, saying, “You exhibit nigga behavior, I’m a call you a nigga. You acting crackerish, I’m a call you a cracker.” Hegwood is African-American.

And she’s been teaching the youth of America, folks. This is awful but undoubtedly, teachers with racist or otherwise unsavory viewpoints on various issues have existed since the dawn of time. However, they were tougher to spot before the advent of social media. Now, if a teacher has a momentary lapse of judgment and decides to show their true colors via social media channels, the entire world can see it and justice can be done.

One could argue for free speech and the fact that what this teacher does on her personal time should not affect her job security but this incident is, of course, too much to ignore. It is heartening to see the school’s administrators feeling that way:

Lari Barager, Duncanville Independent School District spokeswoman, called the messages “offensive” and “reprehensible” and stressed the tweets do not represent the 240 other teachers at Duncanville High School.

The swiftness and severity with which administrators acted demonstrate how seriously they view the incident, Barager said. It’s rare to be suspended without pay, the fullest disciplinary action allowed under district policy, she said.

Hegwood began meeting with administrators Monday at 7:15 a.m. By 8:30 a.m., “there was a conclusion and this decision had been made,” Barager said.

District employees do have the right to free speech, Barager said, but Hegwood’s comments were so egregious, the school was left with “no other option.”

Of course they had to take action as one could only imagine the backlash had they not but I still commend the school for making no bones about the fact that they would not accept a school employee behaving this way. I would like to thank Hegwood for being stupid enough to let her racist flag fly so no more students will be taught by this teacher with terrible judgment.

(Image: archideaphoto/Shutterstock)

46 Comments

  1. keelhaulrose

    November 12, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Deplorable racism aside… this woman taught ENGLISH? I know she’s character-limited, but she writes like a twelve year old speaks.

    • Jen TheTit Whisperer

      November 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      She may actually teach like that. Some schools no longer require kids to write out words. They can turn in papers FOR CREDIT with text abbreviations.

    • guest

      November 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Wut

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      November 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    • Jen TheTit Whisperer

      November 12, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      The not teaching cursive pissed me off. This? I cannot. CAN.NOT.

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      November 12, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Fucking ridiculous!!!!

    • mamaduck_75

      November 12, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      That is mind-blowing and disturbing.

    • Kathryn Mackenzie

      November 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      A friend of a friend works at a really expensive private school. They have stamps that say ‘graded for (whatever), so if a parent complains that spelling mistakes weren’t addressed, they can point to the stamp and say “we weren’t grading on spelling.”

    • Jen TheTit Whisperer

      November 13, 2014 at 9:02 am

      That was always a part of it for us. Your syntax, grammar, spelling, punctuation. All graded. All the time. Because that’s how you become a decent writer.

    • Kathryn Mackenzie

      November 13, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      Which is how it should be.

    • Mehra Sarethi's new acct.

      November 13, 2014 at 12:16 am

      WTAF?!?

  2. LoveInfinitely

    November 12, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    If you act like a dumb, racist bitch, I will call you a dumb, racist bitch. I will even do it with proper sentence structure. #WhenEnglishTeachersAttack

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  3. LaughingRat

    November 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Now, now, Ms. Hegwood, don’t hold back. Tell us what you really think.

  4. Jem

    November 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I hate how people don’t seem to understand what freedom of speech means. It means the government can’t come after you for what you said. It does not mean that you can’t be held accountable by people/employers for things that you have said. Isn’t understanding that part of growing up? You can say whatever you want but prepared that there might be consequences for what you have said.

    • Sherri

      November 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      I was just about to say that. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from personal repercussions, just freedom from government prosecution.

    • Helene

      November 12, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      A public school IS government, though.

    • Sherri

      November 12, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Federal government, not state. The constitution is a framework for the federal government. Hence why each state has their own constitution. But generally, free speech wouldn’t apply unless a court case would read DEFENDANT v THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. In this case, it would read DEFENDANT v SCHOOL DISTRICT. Not the same thing.

    • nikki753

      November 12, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      A teacher has a chance fighting firing over posting something like, say, their advocacy for legalizing marijuana. Or just a bunch of stuff that had curse words like “Went to fucking Walmart. Bought a fucking shirt and some other shit.” But, here she posted discriminatory comments that would certainly lead to a hostile learning environment for a good portion of her students and capped it off with a direction for “dumb (expletive) crackers” to “Kill yourselves”. I know that I would have been transferring out of her class once I knew that she thought I should kill myself for having the audacity to have light skin. A school can’t employ a teacher like that. Plus, her English was atrocious for an adult on Twitter. It’s not like she was a math teacher.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      November 12, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Yeah. Me and my math teachers don’t know nothing about English. I can right NEthing I want on Twitter cuz I teach Math.

    • nikki753

      November 13, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Hahaha. Fair enough. But, the fact that she’s supposed to be teaching English is really the icing on the cake.

    • Helene

      November 12, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      A public school is government. Action by public school teachers can be considered state action.

    • Jem

      November 12, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      No, it’s not. A public school does not make laws that affect the state or the nation.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      November 12, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      She is not being imprisoned for her statements. The school system has a level of decorum that it expects from their employees – issues like this are actually addressed in many employee handbooks. When an employee behaves in this manner, it reflects poorly on the school itself, and can create a conflict inside the classroom between the students and teacher. On top of that basic issue, there are the parents to contend with – no doubt any parent that gets wind of this situation is not going to feel comfortable with their child in this woman’s class, so the school is well within their right to release her from her position.

    • mamaduck_75

      November 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Exactly…when you represent a company, you are held to whatever standards they believe in.

    • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

      November 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      THANK YOU. When the whole Phil/Duck Dynasty thing happened (his comments about gay people) I saw so many FB statuses in my newsfeed whining about “freedom of speech.” I just wanted to scream “Freedom of Speech does not mean Freedom from Repercussions!” You can be a homophobic asshat all day long. It doesn’t mean your employer isn’t within their rights to say “You gone.”

    • Jem

      November 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Yeah I thought that about the whole Paula Deen blow up too. I couldn’t believe people were claiming it was a freedom of speech issue.

    • nikki753

      November 12, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Hahahaha. I love when people claim “freedom of speech” on their Facebook page when their friends simply disagree with whatever they posted and state that or unfriend them. And then they freak out because I guess freedom of speech doesn’t go both ways?

  5. Warren Pacholzuk

    November 12, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Hoper she sues the school’s ass off. Though I do not agree with her opinions or point of view, that does not mean it is cause for dismissal.
    There was a group that did that a long time ago. You know tow the party line, think like us, act like us or else. Little guy with a stupid moustache made a lot of speeches.
    She is racist, but if that is not in the classroom, then the school is 100% wrong.

    • Allyson_et_al

      November 12, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      Oh, ffs, can we please make it a rule that unless your are orchestrating the extermination of 12 million human beings, you are probably not comparable to Hitler? I am so sick of every single perceived government (or even private sector) “overreach” resulting in someone invoking that name. In the immortal words of Jon Stewart, “I disagree with you, but I’m pretty sure you’re not Hitler”.

    • ChillMama

      November 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      I don’t agree. I am not American, but we do have enshrined freedom of speech rights here too. However, if I spouted off a comment like that I would be fired pronto, even though I don’t work with kids.

    • pixie Ninja Tits

      November 12, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      While he does sound quite ‘Murican, he’s actually Canadian. We get this type up here, too. :/

    • ChillMama

      November 13, 2014 at 7:13 am

      Actually, I’m a fellow Canuck! In my failure of a comment I was trying to analogize to the woman in the story (i.e. I am not an American like she is). Didn’t exactly come across.

    • pixie Ninja Tits

      November 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Ah, gotcha!

    • Ezzy666

      November 12, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Does a racist turn off their racism when they go to work? Would you want your child, family members, or friends in her classroom? Can you imagine being the administrator and coming to work to find parents demanding their children be pulled from her class. Parents and students who had suspected the teacher was racist now had proof. How would you defend this teacher?

      I used to be a teacher and every year we were reminded that everything we posted on the internet could come back to us. innocent pictures and comments could be twisted .The recommendation was to not have a Facebook account or keep it on private.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      November 12, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Unfortunately, her beliefs that she stated on such a public forum can make it quite uncomfortable and downright hostile inside her classroom. There are clauses built into many school district’s employee code of conduct that decries issues like this as fireable offenses.

    • Zoe

      November 12, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      Godwin’s Law! You must leave the internet.

      We don’t have freedom of speech laws in Australia. There was a right-wing journalist here who, some years ago, published some disgustingly racist pieces in a newspaper about mixed-race Aboriginal people. The federal court found him guilty of contravening the racial discrimination act. His supporters tried bleating about freedom of speech, but at the end of the day, he was a racist arsehole who tried using journalism to cause fear and humiliation.

      This woman is a teacher and she has a responsibility to her students in and out of the classroom. Any employee can be disciplined for their out of hours conduct if it conflicts with the interests of their employer. She should have known better.

    • whiteroses

      November 12, 2014 at 11:17 pm

      Getting suspended (and she wasn’t even fired, ffs) for making some truly stupid remarks isn’t the same thing as engineering mass genocide of millions. It just isn’t. And if you’re going to compare anything or anyone to Hitler, it tells me your argument is weaker than water.

      I’m not sure how the Internet works in the amazing, free wheeling, utterly incredibly utopia that is Canada (sorry, Canadians, I know this guy doesn’t speak for you) but here in America, the shit you post online under your actual name can and will come back and bite you in the ass. And it should. If you’re over the age of twelve and you still aren’t sure how the internet works, I have no sympathy for you. Tweets are archived in the Library of Congress, everything can be screen capped and retweed and reblogged, and if you want privacy then you really shouldn’t put your personal thoughts on the internet.

  6. simpleton

    November 12, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Just to check, we all know what the difference is between this teacher and all the teachers who spouted racist crap and weren’t suspended without pay, right? Look a little closer….

  7. Helene

    November 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Reverse the races, and she would probably still be in the classroom, though…

    • VA Teacher

      November 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      Anything to back that up?

  8. mamaduck_75

    November 12, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I always have a little issue with what people do in their private lives affecting them or getting them in trouble in their jobs, even teaching. But once you put it in a public forum, you’re not really private anymore. And if you have a certain type of job, you HAVE to watch what you put out there on any forum that could, in any way, go public, even if you didn’t intend it to. I support free speech, even speech I consider hateful and don’t agree with…do and say what you want…but don’t be surprised when that shit gets you in trouble with your job.

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