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PANAMA CITY, Fla. — An elementary school teacher was removed from her class this week for expressing her opinions on Facebook about President Trump’s immigration policies.
The teacher, Veronica Kochis Fleming at Parkside Elementary School in Naples Fla., was commenting about the Feb. 16 Day Without Immigrants protest, in which workers opposed to Trump’s policies stayed home from their jobs.
“The funny thing about immigrants staying home is the rest of us who pay for them are at work like we’ve always been,” Fleming wrote on her Facebook page. “Looks like less mouths to feed today. Have fun while you still can. So glad to hear about massive deportation. Let’s make America great again. Thanks Donald Trump!!”
“The whole school was hurt about the comment,” Gabriela Marquez, the mother of two children at the school, told the Naples Daily News. “Most of the students are Latinos. No one understands why she would comment something like that.”
“I would consider it really to be racist,” Marquez added. “I was mad. Really, really mad.”
Another parent, Juana Perez, said she, too, was offended.
“I don’t ask for any, I pay for my school, my daughter’s lunch, I pay for her insurance,” Perez said. “How could she give, like, education to these kids, knowing that she has so much hate, I thought she was a good teacher but I guess she’s not.”
Around 70 percent of the students at Parkside are Latino and 20 percent are Haitian, NBC 2 News reported.
Parents created an online petition asking for Fleming to be fired. Around 1,600 people had signed the petition by Feb. 16, and administrators transferred her to administrative duties at the headquarters of the Collier County Public Schools, NBC 2 reported.
Fleming was a computer lab instructor and instructional review teacher at Parkside. She removed the post from her Facebook page and refused to comment to news media after the controversy broke.
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