Duncanville, Texas, English high school teacher Vinita Hegwood (pictured) was placed on leave without pay pending discharge for going on a racist and profanity-ridden rant via Twitter over this past summer’s shooting death of Ferguson, Mo., youth Michael Brown, according to WFAA.
Hegwood, who has been with the Duncanville Independent School District for two years, had actively been tweeting about the hostile climate in Ferguson, since the unarmed Brown was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson. Brown’s shooting sparked major unrest in Ferguson that led to riots and racial divisions.
The teacher has also been allegedly tweeting about politics, her deep-rooted hatred for the police, using the N-word in her postings, and using the label “retard” as an epithet.
While the teacher’s Twitter account has since been taken down, the incendiary and controversial tweet got posted on Friday evening when Hegwood asked:
Still, according to Hegwood’s husband, however, who briefly spoke to WFAA, there is more to the story than the accusations being hurled at his wife, who described herself on her now-defunct Twitter handle as a “Mother. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Teacher. Delta. Football fan. Still defining and fine tuning the awesomeness that is me.”
While district administrators reportedly can’t fire Hegwood until an unanimous decision has been reached by the school board, board members issued the following statement with regards to her “reprehensible” tweet:
Early this morning district officials met with Ms. Hegwood, the teacher who stated reprehensible personal opinions on her personal social media account. The district took swift action and exercised the fullest disciplinary action allowed under district policy. Ms. Hegwood was placed on suspension without pay pending discharge. Under state law, a school district’s Board of Trustees “fires” staff members, and the district will pursue that action with the board soon. In the meantime, the teacher has been placed on suspension without pay pending discharge.
The district wants the community to know that the actions of this one individual does not and should not represent the school district. Every day, two hundred and forty Duncanville High School teachers provide a school environment that fosters academic excellence, good citizenship and respect for others. Teachers give their life’s work to shaping the future, and this one individual does not represent our staff or our district.