Published June 20, 2012
The North Carolina high school teacher whose rant against a student who questioned President Obama went viral will keep her job.
The Salisbury Post reports that Tanya Dixon-Neely was suspended without pay, but that she will return to school next year. As a condition of her return, she reportedly will be required to start what was described as a "monitored growth plan."
Superintendent Judy Grissom said in a statement that the teacher fell short of the school system's standards, but expressed a desire to move on from the incident.
"While I remain deeply concerned about the performance documented in the recording of Ms. Dixon-Neely's classroom, I have concluded that she should have a chance to improve her teaching skills," Grissom reportedly said.
In the original video, which went viral last month, student Hunter Rogers elicited a heated response from the teacher when he criticized Obama. The argument started when the classroom began discussing news reports that Mitt Romney bullied a fellow student when he was in high school. At the time, The Washington Post had recently published a lengthy article alleging that Romney, as a teenager, had cut off another student's hair.
"Didn't Obama bully somebody though?" Rogers asked when the report was brought up, referring to an incident Obama described in his memoir, "Dreams From My Father."
The teacher, in the video, said she didn't know whether Obama bullied anyone -- but the argument quickly escalated, as the teacher yelled at the student, telling him "there is no comparison."
She later said: "Do you realize that people were arrested for saying things bad about Bush?"
The student told the teacher that one can't be arrested "unless you threaten the president."