In June, a Texas school board unanimously voted to fire an English teacher who posted a series of tweets to President Trump asking him to deport “illegal students from Mexico.”
Teacher Georgia Clark has now won her appeal, per a new report from the NY Times. Texas Education Agency Commissioner has ordered the high school to hire her back or pay her a year’s salary.
The school board plans to appeal the decision. Superintendent Kent P. Scribner issued a statement that “We stand by our decision because we firmly believe this is in the best interests of all students.”
Per the NYTimes, the state found that the teacher, Georgia Clark, should be reinstated and get back pay and employment benefits, or instead of being allowed to return to her job, she could receive one year’s salary from the date she would have been reinstated, according to its ruling.
“The day the petitioner would have been reinstated is the day respondent tenders petitioner payment in full,” the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, Mike Morath, wrote in the ruling.
WATCH (CBS Report from June 5, 2019)
Per the NYPost, Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath ruled Monday that the series of offensive tweets sent in May by Georgia Clark — an English teacher at Carter-Riverside High School in Fort Worth — were protected by the First Amendment, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Clark, whose Twitter account has since been deleted, is now entitled to return to the classroom with back pay and employment benefits or district officials can fork over one year’s salary.
The teacher was fired in June after seeking assistance from Trump in a barrage of tweets that she said she thought were private messages to the commander-in-chief, Clark later told a district investigator.
“Mr. President, Fort Worth Independent School District is loaded with illegal students from Mexico,” one message sent on May 17 read. “Carter-Riverside High School has been taken over by them.”
In another tweet, Clark said her earlier attempts to “remove the illegals” were rebuffed by local and federal authorities in Fort Worth, where 34 percent of residents are Hispanic or Latino, census data shows.
School officials had argued that Clark waived her First Amendment rights by signing a contract with the district, an assertion that Morath ruled was erroneous.
Clark did not “waive her right to contact, outside of the workday” elected officials about topics in which they have jurisdiction, according to Morath’s ruling.
“But while teachers retain free speech rights, these rights are not unlimited,” Morath wrote.