Jaw-droppingly racist McKinney post gets teacher fired -- but she insists she only meant well when pining for segregation

Karen Fitzgibbons concedes her "words" were off-base, maintains she's no bigot

By Sophia Tesfaye
Published June 12, 2015 3:24PM (EDT)
             (YouTube/Brandon Brooks)
(YouTube/Brandon Brooks)

Veteran teacher Karen Fitzgibbons has been fired for her McKinney-related Facebook rant pining for racial segregation.

The Frenship Independent School District called Fitzgibbons' comments "extremely offensive, insensitive, and disrespectful" before announcing that the 16-year veteran Frenship ISD employee had been immediately "relieved of her teaching duties," in a statement released Thursday night.

Apparently Frenship ISD officials weren't any of the "appropriate people" Fitzgibbons claimed to have apologized to after writing that she was "almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town" in a Facebook post defending the Mckinney, TX  police officer.

Fitzgibbons had been a fourth grade teacher at Bennet Elementary in Wollforth, TX when she wrote that "the blacks" were at fault at the pool party because "that’s what happens when you flunk out of school and have no education."

Her post was accentuated with the hashtag, #imnotracist.

Fitzgibbons' firing comes one day after a Florida high school principal was booted for defending the officer on Facebook, writing: "He was afraid for his life. I commend him for his actions."

In a letter printed by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Fitzgibbons' apologized for her "words," not her racist attitude, and insisted that she had not intended to offended anyone with her racist rant:

First, to anyone, of any race, that I have offended, I sincerely apologize. That was not my intent. I let my emotions get the best of me, and instead of taking a deep breath, vented in an inappropriate way. I am truly sorry. I don’t want my comments to reflect poorly on my district or campus, as the words came from me, not them. Frenship and Bennett are amazing places full of people (teachers, administrators, custodial staff, cafeteria staff, parents, and others) who love, care about, and go the extra mile for all students, regardless of race. As a teacher and lifelong educator, I strive to do the same. I always tell my students that once they are my student, they will always be my child. As an educator, I do teach my students about treating all people fairly and with dignity. I regret that my words are now calling that into question. I can, and will, use this situation as a real world example of how emotions and words can cause hurt to others. I am ashamed of my post. As I look back and reflect, I see how hurtful those words sounded. It is my hope that my sincere apology will be accepted.

Thank you,

Karen Fitzgibbons

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Karen Fitzgibbons Mckinney Texas Race Racism