Donald Trump talks of 'ridiculous' immigration laws ahead of announcing Mexico tariffs

Georgia Clark: Teacher who asked Trump to round up ‘illegal students’ thought her tweets were private messages

School board members vote unanimously to terminate teacher's contract over comments

Alex Horton
Wednesday 05 June 2019 10:21
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Georgia Clark, a veteran high school English teacher in Fort Worth, Texas, had an urgent request for Donald Trump: She needed help pulling undocumented immigrants from her school.

"Mr President, Fort Worth Independent School District is loaded with illegal students from Mexico," Ms Clark wrote 17 May on her now-deleted Twitter account, @Rebecca1939.

"Anything you can do to remove the illegals from Fort Worth would be greatly appreciated," she wrote in another tweet.

Ms Clark was careful in her approach, she believed, and told the president she needed guarantees her identity would be protected when action was taken. "Texas will not protect whistle blowers. The Mexicans refuse to honour our flag," she wrote.

Ms Clark said she did not mean for everyone to see her thoughts and requests on immigration. She said she believed the tweets were private between her and the president.

But the very public messages have now embroiled her school district in scandal - and they could get her fired.

"Ms Clark stated she did not realise the tweets were public," a Fort Worth Independent School District review said in a copy obtained by The Washington Post. Ms Clark acknowledged the tweets were hers, the review said.

At a Tuesday meeting, eight school board members voted unanimously to terminate Ms Clark's contract after more than a dozen people spoke out against her during public comment.

The inquiry substantiated "inappropriate behaviour" in violation of district regulations and Ms Clark was placed on administrative leave with pay on 29 May, two days before the last day of school.

Her attorney Brandon Brim declined to comment ahead of the board meeting.

Ms Clark's tweets angered parents and others, prompting a response from district superintendent Kent Scribner.

"Let me reiterate our commitment that every child in the District is welcome and is to be treated with dignity and respect," Mr Scribner wrote 29 May on Facebook.

The response was so strong that the district urged parents and guardians to refrain from harsh language in a later post.

"I'm very surprised and concerned that this cruel woman has been berating our precious children for years," a woman wrote in response to Mr Scribner. "Where was FWISD???"

The Supreme Court ruled in Plyler v Doe that public schools are required to provide schooling for children, regardless of their immigration status. Schools cannot ask students about their immigration status or report them or family members to federal immigration authorities.

Trump compares US-Mexico border to Disneyland and calls end to family separations a disaster

Ms Clark, an English teacher at Carter-Riverside High School, has worked with the district since 1998, the review said, and has a history of violations - including insulting her students' ethnicity. Even before the tweets came to light, the district was already investigating separate allegations of derogatory remarks from Ms Clark in the classroom.

Last month, when one student asked to go to the bathroom, she told the student to "show me your papers that are saying you are legal," a student told investigators, which was corroborated by another student.

She denied to investigators that she made the comment, which the report claims occurred 17 May - the same day Ms Clark tweeted at Mr Trump multiple times about what she perceived as illegal immigration in Fort Worth and in the school district.

Fort Worth's population is about a third Hispanic, according to city data.

In 2007, Ms Clark kicked a student, the review said, though an investigation determined it was "without malice." In 2013, she was disciplined for referring to a group of students as "little Mexico" and called another student "white bread." Those allegations proved to be true, according to the review.

Ms Clark's former Twitter account was filled with invective salvos directed to Mr Trump in January and May, according to the report.

"Do you have someone who has looked at the crime statistics across our great nation and documented the number of time an illegal immigrant has committed an act of robbery or murder on American citizens?" she wrote to Mr Trump.

The president has inaccurately linked violence to unlawful immigrants, who commit crimes at lower rates than US-born Americans.

But Ms Clark assured Mr Trump that her concerns were legitimate, the tweets show, and on 17 May, she left her mobile phone number for the White House to call.

"Georgia Clark is my real name," she wrote.

The Washington Post

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