WOLFFORTH, Tex. (MEDIA GENERAL) – A Texas elementary school teacher has been relieved of her teaching duties after a Facebook post where she wrote she is “almost to the point” of wanting segregation and blames blacks for causing racial tension.
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports the fourth grade teacher, Karen Fitzgibbons, has been at the Frenship Independent School District for 16 years.
Fitzgibbons’ Facebook post included a link and photo to the McKinney pool party that ended with an officer’s resignation.
“This makes me ANGRY! This officer should not have had to resign,” wrote Fitzgibbons in her post. “I’m going to just go ahead and say it… the blacks are the ones causing the problems… 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.”
She went on to hashtag the post “#imnotracist.” But, many people disagreed. A Facebook page was created to “Fire Karen Fitzgibbons.” More than 1,200 people have liked the page. In the 2010 Census, the city of Wolfforth included about 3,600 people. The 2000 Census showed the racial makeup to be about 85 percent white and less than two percent African-American.
The Frenship District posted a statement on its website that read in part: “Frenship ISD is deeply disappointed in the thoughtlessness conveyed by this employee’s post. We find these statements to be extremely offensive, insensitive, and disrespectful to our Frenship community and citizens everywhere.” The district went on to say the employee has been relieved of her teaching duties.
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported an email appearing to be from Fitzgibbons contained an apology.
“First, to anyone, of any race, that I have offended, I sincerely apologize. That was not my intent. I let my emotions get the best of me, and instead of taking a deep breath, vented in an inappropriate way,” the letter read, in part.
In its statement, the district made a point that it holds employees responsible for conduct even when they aren’t at the school.
“Employees are held to the same professional standards in their public use of electronic media as they are for any other public conduct. This recent conduct was unacceptable,” the district wrote.