Frenship ISD teacher resigns following controversial Facebook po - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Frenship ISD teacher resigns following controversial Facebook post

Karen Fitzgibbons Karen Fitzgibbons
Screenshot shared to KCBD Facebook page Screenshot shared to KCBD Facebook page

Frenship Independent School District took action on Thursday and relieved a teacher of her duties at Bennett Elementary School after a Facebook post drew backlash from the community.

Although she was relieved of her teaching duties, she was not formally "fired" or dismissed from her employment with the district at that time. Frenship ISD released a statement on Friday saying they have accepted her resignation effective June 12.

It all started with the viral video of a McKinney officer's response to a rowdy pool party. Karen Fitzgibbons shared an article announcing corporal Eric Casebolt's resignation to her Facebook profile and expressed her anger over the situation.

Here's what she posted:

"This makes me ANGRY! This officer should not have to resign. I'm going to just go ahead and say it...the blacks are the ones causing the problems and this "racial tension." I guess that's what happens when you flunk out of school and have no education. I'm sure their parents are just as guilty for not knowing what their kids were doing; or knew it and didn't care. I'm almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town so they can hurt each other and leave the innocent people alone. Maybe the 50s and 60s were really on to something. Now, let the bashing of my true and honest opinion begin...GO! #imnotreacist #imsickofthemcausingtrouble #itwasagatedcommunity"

And though the post has been deleted, debate over the decision is still raging in the community and on social media.

Dianna Reyes' grandson attends Westwind Elementary in Frenship ISD. She believes teachers should hold themselves to a higher standard.

"I believe that what you speak with your mouth, you carry in your heart; and if that's what she carries in her heart, I don't know if she needs to be around any children," Reyes said.

Other parents feel for the teacher. Rebekah, who did not want to release her last name, has a son who was in Fitzgibbons' fourth grade class this year. Rebekah said this incident does not change her view of her.

"She does love all of her students and she does go above and beyond, and she's there to teach," Rebekah said. "She takes her job very seriously and she does a good job."

In apology she sent to KCBD on Thursday, Fitzgibbons said that it was not her intent to offend anyone of any race. She said that she "let her emotions get the best of [her]" and "vented in an inappropriate way."

Fitzgibbons said she teaches her students about treating people fairly and with dignity and regrets that her words are now calling that into question.

"I can see how people might be upset by it, but she has issued an apology and even said that she made that out of anger," Rebekah said. "I think it doesn't reflect her personality as a teacher – as a person even."

Shortly after Fitzgibbons released her statement, Frenship ISD issued a statement saying that that they are "deeply disappointed in the thoughtlessness conveyed by [Fitzgibbons'] post.

"I think the district took the stand they needed to take and their priority was the children," Reyes said. "We all say things that we shouldn't say, but before you post, think before you push send."

RELATED STORY: Bennett Elementary teacher 'relieved of her duties' after posting about McKinney incident

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