It’s “a good first step.” That’s according to local activist Lizzie Maldonado, referring to the Fort Worth school board’s recent decision to once again terminate its contract with Georgia Clark, the former teacher at Carter-Riverside High School who created a nationwide scandal by tweeting allegedly anti-immigrant comments to Donald Trump. At the school board meeting recently, eight people spoke against her. Two openly supported her.
“At the very least,” Maldonado said, “it showed very brave students who spoke out against Clark’s behavior in the classroom that the board stands with them, but Clark will appeal, and the fight isn’t over.”
Maldonado believes the board needs to continue moving forward by revoking Clark’s teaching certification, by making the process for reporting discrimination more accessible and accountable to students, and by investigating the hearing by independent examiner Robert C. Prather Sr., who found that Clark’s tweets weren’t racially insensitive after the school board decided to terminate her contract initially. The results of the conservative Republican lawyer’s inquiry moved the school board to meet again to reconsider its original decision.
At the meeting, Miracle Slover, a junior in Clark’s eighth period class last spring, recounted how Clark said blacks were criminals and Hispanics were drug dealers.
Clark argues that her tweets were about drug dealers who are “illegals.” The hearing examiner found that Clark’s comments “were not intended to and did not pose a threat to emotional or physical harm to students.” One of her tweets to Trump was “Carter-Riverside High School has been taken over by [illegal students].” Another was “Anything you can do to remove the illegals from Fort Worth would be greatly appreciated.”
The hearing examiner held that the school district needed to rehire Clark because her tweets were protected free speech and the district did not follow proper procedures when the board voted unanimously to fire her in June.
In an interview with Channel 8/WFAA, Clark showed no remorse. “Frankly,” she said, “God was saying, ‘It’s time to do this now.’ I need my job back, and those kids need me too. I believe that there are earth angels, and I believe that I am one.”
One Clark supporter was James G. Clark, from Azle, who said he is not related to Georgia and has never met her. He contended that “teachers are thrown under the bus for the good of illegals.” At the end of his address, he produced a Sherlock Holmes pipe as a prop and stated, “Georgia Clark has brought up a very important topic: Is it better to be illegal than to be legal?”
Georgia Clark, who refused multiple requests to comment on this article, can appeal her firing to the Texas Education Agency and, if she chooses, directly to its head, Mike Morath.