A West Virginia high school teacher was suspended earlier this week over several racist remarks made on her Twitter account, with the most recent tweet indicating that the Chicago suspects who allegedly tortured a mentally disabled teen last week could be “Obama’s children.”
“Can you imagine how many riots we would have around the country if the terrorists were white?” the post read on Twitter. “This could have been Obama’s children.”
Mary Durstein, a social studies teacher at Huntington High School, was put on paid leave on Monday, according to the Herald-Dispatch. The remark wasn’t Durstein’s first racist comment on her Twitter account. Her Twitter rants go as far back as 2015, filled with anti-Muslim tirades saying that they should be deported, her distaste about the Black Lives Matter social justice movement, as well as other bigotry attacks on the president.
Several students had flagged Durstein’s Twitter outbursts over the weekend, Cabell County School officials said.
“The tweets that you have seen — those are things that we do not adhere to,” Cabell County Superintendent Bill Smith told local reporters. “We believe that all children are welcome here — all adults as well — in Cabell County schools.”
Durstein has since deleted her Twitter account, according to school officials. She was also expected to meet with them about her tweets, both recent and old. School district staffers said an investigation was underway to see if she violated any county policies.
Cabell County Schools has an employee code of conduct. The professional staff handbook states that “All Cabell County professional employees shall maintain a safe and healthy environment, free from harassment, intimidation, bullying, substance abuse, and/or violence, and free from bias and discrimination.”
Employees also must, “create a culture of caring through understanding and support” and “demonstrate responsible citizenship by maintaining a high standard of conduct, self-control, and moral/ethical behavior,” according to the conduct code.