A Florida middle school social studies teacher was removed from the classroom while her school district investigates a HuffPost report that she hosted a white supremacist podcast under a pseudonym, shared anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and suggested that Muslims be eradicated from the planet.
Dayanna Volitich won’t teach classes at Crystal River Middle School during the investigation, which began Friday after HuffPost raised questions about the podcast, Citrus County School District Superintendent Sandra Himmel said in a statement Sunday:
HuffPost, in an article published on Saturday, revealed that Volitich was hosting a podcast titled “Unapologetic” under the name “Tiana Dalichov.” Volitich also used that name on a Twitter account and two Facebook pages, in addition to several other podcasts and YouTube pages.
During one of those podcast appearances, Volitich boasted about bringing her white nationalist beliefs into her middle school classroom, and talked about how she hid her ideology from school administrators.
Under her Dalichov Twitter handle, Volitich stated that Islam “legitimizes” terrorist behavior and that terrorist attacks will continue “until we eradicate [Muslims] from the face of the earth.” She also retweeted and commented on tweets posted by neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, and white supremacists, including Kevin MacDonald, David Duke, Arthur Jones, Patrick Casey, Mark Collett and Mike Peinovich, aka Mike Enoch.
The superintendent’s statement noted that a reporter at HuffPost alerted the district to Volitich’s actions, and the Human Resources department “initiated an investigation immediately.”
Volitich has not responded to repeated HuffPost attempts to contact her. She did provide a statement to television station WFLA News Channel 8 on Sunday, in which she claimed her actions were “satire”:
“None of the statements released about my being a white nationalist or white supremacist have any truth to them, nor are my political beliefs injected into my teaching of social studies curriculum. While operating under the Russian pseudonym ‘Tiana Dalichov’ on social media and the Unapologetic Podcast, I employed political satire and exaggeration, mainly to the end of attracting listeners and followers, and generating conversation about the content discussed between myself and my guests. The views ‘Tiana Dalichov’ espouses do not pervade my professional career. As an adult, my decisions are my own, and my family has nothing whatsoever to do with my social media accounts or my podcast. From them, I humbly ask for forgiveness, as it was never my intention to cause them grief while engaging in a hobby on my personal time. All future questions about the current situation should be directed to my attorney. I cannot comment further, due to the ongoing school board investigation.”
This article has been updated to include a statement from Volitich.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.