Posting a fiery rant on her personal Facebook page defending the police officer who confronted a group of teens at a Texas pool party cost one teacher her job. (Photo: YouTube)
The police officer caught on tape throwing an African-American bikini-clad teenage girl on the ground at a chaotic pool party last week in McKinney, Texas, isn’t the only person out of a job.
Related: How Race Dictates School Discipline
Yesterday, a teacher from McKinney got axed from her position for posting a racially inflammatory rant about Officer Eric Casebolt’s resignation on her personal Facebook page — hotly defending his actions and referring to African-Americans as “having no education” and “the ones causing the problem” when it comes to racial tension.
“This makes me ANGRY! This officer should not have to resign,” wrote Karen Fitzgibbons, formerly a fourth-grade teacher at Bennett Elementary School in McKinney, on her Facebook page on Tuesday, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. The page has since been deleted.
“I guess that’s what happens when you flunk out of school and have no education. I’m sure their parents are just as guilty for not knowing what their kids were doing; or knew it and didn’t care,” she continued. “I’m almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town so they can hurt each other and leave the innocent people alone.”
Karen Fitzgibbons apologized for her inflammatory post, but she was fired anyway. (Photo: Fire Karen Fitzgibbons/Facebook)
Fitzgibbons, who had worked for the school district for 16 years, according to the Avalanche-Journal, ended her post with this sentence: “Now, let the bashing of my true and honest opinion begin…GO!” She got her wish. The post went viral, and outraged readers called for the school district to fire her.
District officials took just a day to give Fitzgibbon the boot. “On Wednesday afternoon, Frenship Independent School District was made aware of a statement posted on a Facebook page by a Frenship ISD employee during the week,” the district said in a news release.
“Frenship ISD is deeply disappointed in the thoughtlessness conveyed by this employee’s post. We find these statements extremely offensive, insensitive, and disrespectful to our Frenship community and citizens everywhere. … The employee whose account is responsible for the post will be relieved of her teaching duties at Frenship ISD.”
Facebook comments about the Texas pool party also got an educator in Florida fired earlier in June. North Miami Senior High School principal Alberto Iber defended the Texas officer who resigned in a comment posted to the Miami Herald using his Facebook account. “He did nothing wrong,” Iber wrote. “He was afraid for his life. I commend him for his actions.”
After her post went viral, Fitzgibbons issued an apology on Wednesday evening. “I let my emotions get the best of me, and instead of taking a deep breath, vented in an inappropriate way,” she wrote. “I am truly sorry. I don’t want my comments to reflect poorly on my district or campus, as the words came from me, not them. …
“I am ashamed of my post. As I look back and reflect, I see how hurtful those words sounded. It is my hope that my sincere apology will be accepted,” wrote Fitzgibbons. The school district decided otherwise.