You’re Fired: Duncanville ISD Terminates Teacher Over Tweets

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Vinita Hegwood2

DUNCANVILLE — Duncanville ISD chose Friday morning to terminate Vinita Hegwood, choosing to not accept a resignation. Hegwood was suspended after expletive-laced tweets surrounding Ferguson surfaced from her Twitter account. Hegwood confirmed she sent the November 7 tweets. They racially charged posts were deleted, but not before screen shots were captured and posted online.

According to the district, Hegwood was given an opportunity to ‘explain her version of the events’ in a meeting with superintendent Dr. Alfred Ray the Monday morning following the tweets; at the end of the meeting, Ray suspended Hegwood without pay, pending discharge from her teaching position.

The vote to terminate Hegwood was unanimous, ending her contract immediately. Hegwood issued an apology earlier in the week, along with her resignation, saying:

“I wish to express my regret regarding the controversy over comments that I made on social media on Friday, November 7.  I am deeply sorry for the offensive and unprofessional comments that I made on my personal Twitter account.  In making those remarks, I was reacting to a series of threatening and racist attacks against me by strangers who disagreed with my expressed opinions on Ferguson, Missouri. I allowed myself to respond emotionally and impulsively. My reaction in no way reflects the standards to which I have held myself and my students for the last twenty years of teaching. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I regret the embarrassment that it has caused the school district.  I believe that it is in the best interests of the district that I resign my position at Duncanville ISD effective immediately.”