Texas Teacher on Paid Leave After Racist Tweet About Ferguson

Texas Teacher on Paid Leave After Racist Tweet About Ferguson

A Texas teacher was placed on leave without pay after posting a racially-charged tweet referencing Ferguson, Missouri, where black teen Michael Brown was shot by police officer Darren Wilson. 

Vinita Hegwood is an African American English teacher at the Duncanville Independent School District, according to local media outlet KHOU. On Friday night she tweeted, “Who the [expletive] made you dumb duck [expletive] crackers think I give a squat (expletive) about your opinions about my opinions RE: Ferguson? Kill yourselves.”

Tensions have remained high in Ferguson since Brown’s death. Officer Darren Wilson is awaiting a decision by a grand jury. 

On Sunday night, the school district said it would take “swift action” against the teacher. Her dismissal from the school is pending. 

“As an individual, Ms. Vinita Hegwood expressed an opinion on social media that is solely her own,” the school reportedly said in a statement. “She used her personal social media account to make remarks that are offensive. While everyone has the right to free speech, as a teacher in the district, we believe the comments that are alleged to be made by Ms. Hegwood are absolutely reprehensible and we do not condone it. The district is taking swift action in this matter within the authority set forth by district policy. Duncanville ISD embraces diversity and is not defined by the personal opinion of one.”

Following the school’s announcement, the teacher’s Twitter was taken offline.

Hegwood’s husband apparently told KHOU there is “more to the story,” but would not be specific. At this time, it is unclear what provoked the angry Tweet, or if it was targeted at any specific individuals. 

Follow Kristin on Twitter @KristinBTate.