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(NewsNation) — An Austin, Texas, school board upheld the termination of a former elementary school teacher over a TikTok video, Wednesday.
Sophia DeLoretto-Chudy, a first year educator at Becker Elementary School, claims the video sparked controversy leading to her firing, Fox Austin reported.
The saga began in March when a school administrator, instead of addressing the challenges faced by the first-year teacher, raised concerns about a lesson on the Holocaust. Students drew parallels between nationalism, propaganda and the pledge of allegiance, leading to a protest of the pledge, CBS Austin reported.
Unconvinced by Deloretto-Chudy’s explanation, the teacher took to TikTok to express her concerns. The next day, human resources informed her of administrative leave, citing disruptions caused by the video.
The Austin Independent School District (AISD) investigated and ultimately terminated Deloretto-Chudy, citing a violation of their social media policies.
The district’s employee handbook states if an employee’s use of electronic communication interferes with the employee’s ability to perform his or her duties, it could lead to termination.
Deloretto-Chudy asserts that the policy is vague and could be misinterpreted, leading to arbitrary terminations. She is advocating for a change in this policy, emphasizing the need for clarity to avoid similar incidents.
While some parents expressed concerns about Deloretto-Chudy’s suitability as a teacher and suggested her activism was a stunt, others defended her. One parent criticized AISD’s decision as disruptive, lacking planning for a replacement teacher, and causing harm to students’ trust in the school system.
DeLoretto-Chudy’s lawyer is appealing to the school board’s decision, hoping to return to teaching.