Texas elementary school teacher Karen Fitzgibbons took to Facebook to complain about police officer Eric Casebolt’s resignation following his actions during the infamous McKinney pool party where bikini-clad 15-year-old Dajerria Becton was thrown to the ground and brutalized.
Her Facebook post read as follows:
“This makes me ANGRY! This officer should not have to resign. I’m going to just go ahead and say it…the blacks are the ones causing the problems and this “racial tension.” 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. 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. Maybe the 50s and 60s were really on to something. Now, let the bashing of my true and honest opinion begin…GO! #imnotreacist #imsickofthemcausingtrouble #itwasagatedcommunity”
As a result of her insensitive social media post, the educator was “relieved of her duties” and has since apologized for her remarks.
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. 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. Frenship and Bennett are amazing places full of people (teachers, administrators, custodial staff, cafeteria staff, parents, and others) who love, care about, and go the extra mile for all students, regardless of race. As a teacher and lifelong educator, I strive to do the same. I always tell my students that once they are my student, they will always be my child. As an educator, I do teach my students about treating all people fairly and with dignity. I regret that my words are now calling that into question. I can, and will, use this situation as a real world example of how emotions and words can cause hurt to others. 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.
Her former employer, Frenship Independent School District, released the following statement regarding Fitzgibbons’ Facebook rant:
“On Wednesday afternoon, Frenship Independent School District was made aware of a statement posted on a Facebook page by a Frenship ISD employee earlier this week.
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. These comments in no way represent the educational environment we have created for our students.
The employee whose account is responsible for the post will be relieved of her teaching duties at Frenship ISD.
Friday on TV One’s NewsOne Now, Roland Martin and the Straight Talk Panel featuring Political Science Professor at Hiram College Dr. Jason Johnson, Washington Post National Reporter Wesley Lowery, Principal of the Group Consulting Firm Candice Tolliver Burns, and Ray Baker of Ray Baker Media, unpacked Karen Fitzgibbons’ errant Facebook post that led to her dismissal.
Panelist Candice Burns said, “Anyone who frames our kids in terms of Black and White has no business in the classroom. That school district did exactly what they should have done.”
Burns said she contacted a colleague who is a high school administrator just outside McKinney. “This is something that, as you can expect, is something far-reaching. It’s not isolated to just one teacher, one Facebook post.” She continued the quote from her college saying, “The system expects for Black folks to make a whole lot of noise, with little to no follow-up.”
Burns added, “It can’t be just about, we got rid of this teacher, the parents at that school, if they are not actively involved in the PTA and other channels to make their visibility, their presence, their positions, their involvement known — they absolutely have to do it, because it’s bigger than that one teacher.”
Watch Martin and the panel delicately dissect Fitzgibbons’ misguided rant and flawed critique where her “emotions got the best of her” in the video clip above.
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