SMITHTOWN, N.Y. – A New York teacher who called her Donald Trump supporting students “racists” was reassigned, yet remains on the public’s payroll for the Smithtown Central School District.
Smithtown High School West was celebrating USA day Wednesday when world languages teacher Veronica Welsh felt compelled to comment about student attire on Facebook, News 12 reports.
“This week is spirit week at Smithtown H.S. West,” Welsh wrote. “It’s easy to spot which students are racists by the Trump gear they’re sporting for USA Day.”
The post was later removed, NBC New York reports.
News 12 uncovered others.
“I feel really (expletive) when I see former students posting things on Facebook that are pro-Donald Trump,” Welsh posted in May. “I’m sorry for failing you at Smithtown High School West. I should have done better.”
Smithtown superintendent James Grossane issued a statement condemning the “inappropriate” post, but did not detail what, if any, punishment Welsh will face.
“Please be advised that we are handling this in a professional manner and all appropriate disciplinary actions are being taken,” the statement read, according to Newsday. “This is an extremely unfortunate incident and these actions are not prompted by the Smithtown Central School District Administration and Board of Education, nor do they reflect the attitudes of our students and staff.”
Officials said Welsh still works for the school district but was “administratively reassigned.” They provided no other details.
Smithtown parent Shane Kielmeyer has already forgiven Welsh.
“Sometimes people get heated and they type away and then they want to take it back,” he said. “I’m sure she’s a very good teacher.”
Others think the school district needs to set an example.
“I think a slap on the wrist is not enough,” local Maria Columbo told News 12. “She needs to know that’s not the right thing to do.”
The Real Clear Politics presidential poll average for New York shows Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton with a 17 point lead, with data giving Clinton 50.8 percent of the vote to Trump’s 33.8 percent.
Smithtown is in Long Island’s Suffolk County, where more voters cast ballots in the Republican presidential primary than in the Democratic primary. Trump captured 72 percent of the 53,465 votes cast in the Republican primary, versus the 23,862 cast for Clinton in the Democratic primary, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections.
President Obama narrowly defeated Republican candidate Mitt Romney in Suffolk County in 2012, 51 percent to 47 percent.
Numerous folks sounded off online about the teacher’s Facebook post, decrying what many viewed as a bad habit by liberals to label anyone who disagrees with their perspective racists.
“Well, what do you expect when the leader of this teacher’s political party is saying the exact same things? My question is, why does this teacher get in trouble for saying this on Facebook, yet Hillary Clinton can get away with saying the exact same things to the entire country?” Steven Harsch questioned. “Isn’t labeling an entire group of people because of their beliefs not the very definition of racism and discrimination?”
“Freedom of speech is only free if you’re a lib,” Chris Heuser added. “If your view differ then you’re a racist, a misogynist, a sexist or whatever else it is that they claim you are! That woman should not be allowed to teach. Clearly she cannot be trusted to grade those students fairly.”
“How many kids or parents would trust this teacher to be fair when grading those students with Trump shirts?” Sarah Fogelstrom wrote. “I guess her mother never told her ‘if you can’t say something nice don’t say it at all.’ We don’t pay teachers to critique students’ or their parents’ political views. All across America we are trying to stop bullying by other kids and not it’s being done by a teacher?
“Shame on her.”