A special education teacher in West Fargo, North Dakota, is in danger of being fired from her job after mocking tweets were found on her social media page.
Sheridan Tihista, former Miss Montana who won her beauty pageant title on a platform for inclusive education for students with disabilities and who now teaches autistic children at Liberty Middle School, is being investigated by the school district for a string of contemptuous posts on Twitter.
The messages were discovered by a group of concerned parents who mailed over 20 pages of her posts to news agencies and the school officials. In the tweets, Tihista frequently referred to the mother of the autistic children as “monsters” and called the children themselves “satan.”
She also seemed quite neglectful and dismissive of her dealing with her student. In one of her posts she said the best part of teaching students with disabilities was that they never had to change their routine, because “we loooove routines!”
In another tweet, she posted an image of someone saying they wanted “attention” as a Christmas gift to which she replied: “Basically all my students.”
In yet another tweet, she referred to her student as “borderline psychopath.”
Tihista did not use her full name or her picture in her Twitter profile, probably to keep herself anonymous as she wrote these vile things.
The teacher quickly put her account on private but then soon decided to delete it altogether.
After the backlash, Tihista wrote to WDAY News admitting the tweets were insensitive.
“My tweets may have been distasteful but don't illustrate what kind of educator I am,” she said.
Heather Konschak, a spokeswoman for the district said the West Fargo school officials had no knowledge of the posts until the parents send the printouts to the news station. They have decided to review the material and then discuss disciplinary action for Tihista. They also noted that while social media messages may be covered under the freedom of speech law, teachers can still be disciplined for unsuitable content.
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