By Nancy Smith
What will Citrus County school authorities do about white supremacist teacher Dayanna Volitich? I hope, the right thing.
Volitich can’t be allowed to return to her social studies classroom at Crystal River Middle School. Even, at best, if she’s found not to have brought her views to school and shared them with her students.
It’s too late for that. Even if she keeps her mouth shut from here to Doomsday, for many in Citrus County, she will always wear a racist label.
Her conduct, as news outlets all over the country and beyond, including Sunshine State News have reported — using social media to host a white nationalist podcast called “Unapologetic” — may go beyond Freedom of Speech protections.
To help teachers navigate treacherous waters, in 2015 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued an updated version on the free speech rights of teachers for Washington state.
The ACLU warns, if school officials can show political expression outside the classroom “could adversely affect school functions or your effectiveness as a teacher, the First Amendment may not protect you.” They offer similar advice for the use of social media, an area where “law is continuing to evolve.”
According to the ACLU, “if you use social media in your private capacity to express your beliefs on a matter of public concern, you may be protected. However, if you use social media to comment about students, school or other work-related matters, or you use it to engage in what might be considered conduct impairing your functioning as a teacher, the First Amendment may not protect you.”
Dayanna Volitich did indeed “use social media to comment about students, school or other work-related matters …” etc., according to the investigative reporting of the Huffington Post, first to release this story.
Despite her insistence that spoken content on her show was not reflective of anything she taught in the classroom, as the Huffington Post discovered, the teacher actually spoke at length about the subversive ways she would see that her worldview would find its way into her teaching.
First Amendment aside, this story reaches my heart.
And, frankly, I think if nothing else, it should reach the Citrus County school system’s sense of decency, fair play and responsibility to the whole community it serves. Think about it: Volitich is molding young minds in a public school — a PUBLIC school. Or, at least she was until Citrus County removed her until the investigation is finished.
Try to imagine you’re a non-white student in Volitich’s social studies class. What do you do with this new information about your teacher’s “white superiority”? She’s already stipulated on “Unapologetic” that science has proven “certain races are smarter than others.” You have to wonder if your other white teachers share her views. You have to ask yourself what chance do you have in this classroom, at this school, in your future. That’s what hurts my heart.
And over the years, I’ve talked to other minorities in this state who experienced Volitich-like prejudices in the classroom, some of it that affected their self-worth, and worse.
Citrus is a small, predominantly white county. Minority students are few and far between. With 768 students, Crystal River Middle is 86 percent white — which compares to 40 percent of white students in the average Florida school with the same 16:1 student-teacher ratio. I can only imagine how isolated minority students in Volitich’s class must feel.
Recent studies have found more and more black families are homeschooling their children because of the racism students are taught and experience in school systems. This is for good reason: Studies have closely linked racism and depression in black and Latino children.
A spokesperson in School Superintendent Sandra “Sam” Himmel’s office would not settle whether Volitich had been suspended with or without pay, nor would she answer other questions about the classroom or school “until the investigation is over.” She said Friday she was referring all callers to “our statement on the District website.”
One piece of hopeful news in Citrus: In October, Volitich tweeted under her social-media pseudonym, Tiana Dalichov, that her school was making her learn about the effects of white privilege and systemic racism (though, sadly, she added, “Systemic racism and white privilege aren’t real”).
What I’d like to see is Florida turn the Dayanna Volitich story into something positive.
I’d like to see it be the beginning of a conversation started by the state’s dominant party, the GOP — in my opinion, wrongly identified as the party that doesn’t give a hoot whether Florida minorities are fairly treated.
Who better than, say, influential Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Spring Hill, who represents Citrus County, to seek a Blue Ribbon committee on building racial equality in Florida schools, bringing in Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, other educators, administrators and lawmakers — but most important, minorities who can talk from experience and help guide the process to something meaningful.
Such an effort would need to grow into more than talk. Florida, one of the three most racially diverse states, could lead the nation not only in keeping classrooms safe, but in keeping them fair.
Nancy Smith is the editor of Sunshine State News. She started her career at the Daily Mirror and The Observer in London before spending 28 years at The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News as managing editor and associate editor. She was president of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors in the mid-1990s. Reach her by email here, or follow her on twitter at @NancyLBSmith.
This is what happens when the teacher’s union fills the classrooms with socialist/communist teachers in public schools. Now they are up in arms because a white supremacists comes in. Oh please , grow up
But it’s okay for teachers to push liberal views, like hating whiteness. Hypocrites! The tolerant are very intolerant.
By this account then as many as 65% of educators should not be teaching based on thier Leftest held and or socalist bias that they Bring IntoThe Classrooms Every Single Day.
John DeWitt says
This lady cannot return to the classroom or retain public employment. She has to go! I would add anither teacher to the list: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/california-teacher-put-on-leave-after-calling-us-military-a-bunch-of-dumb-shits-report
There are a couple of teachers at Flagler Palm Coast High School that come dangerously close with their political comments in the classroom. If there was video of what they say, they would be gone.
Well if this is the case, do we hold the same opinion for teachers to professors who teach or in colleges today (indoctrinate) students on other personal “POLITICAL” philosophies such as:
1. Black Nationalism
2. Political correctness
3. Anti conservatism
I would think if we are going to silence one we should silence the others and mandate teachers follow a prescribed lesson plan based on fact not opinion.
Count me as one of those wondering why any of this is even being discussed in our schools. Do they still have time to teach the basics? Reading, writing, math and history? Everything else I see appears to be designed to confuse and divide these students. Why are they working so hard to do that? That is not supposed to be what school is about.
Two suggestions, apply to my Trump University, I will give you a job making $250k per year. You may never actually get a paycheck but at least your resume can have my name on it. Second suggestion is to go to work for any of the private religious based schools who also share my and your distorted views of our Country, MAGA.
Give me a BREAK! Bigotry, racism and supremacy is ongoing by thousands of school teachers, professors, officials and students all over this country. And you want to single out this specific teacher. People in glass houses should not throw stones. Get a life!
I Be Erudite says
Mark and Isabella,
This lady’s behavior is intolerable. I get your point about the liberal BS as well but why support intolerable behavior from anyone? I would use the term both sides but that would equate her actions with conservatives. As a conservative I don’t hate anyone or support haters in their speech or actions. She can say what she wants but not at school
What she did is wrong, But its OK for our school systems to remove the bible and prayer from schools not to mention the salute to our Nation’s Flag, which means we sure are a screwed up society these days.
You never disappoint, “…I’d like to see it be the beginning of a conversation started by the state’s dominant party, the GOP — in my opinion, wrongly identified as the party that doesn’t give a hoot whether Florida minorities are fairly treated…” Uh yeah, sure, where did anyone get that idea?
Nice to see the usual cannibals boo-hooing about vegetarian bias.
Naivete. That’s what I think in this case. She should have exercised common sense. We know that we can not utter certain words in a crowd – bomb, fire, etc. What impact is she trying to create ? She damaged her employment, her good name, and her record. A tough lesson indeed.
For all those that want to live in a lily white world, get over it! Look around, get to know people that look and think differently. You may even learn something. There is such rich culture out there. We all have a story and experiences that, when shared, can enrich all our lives. Don’t be so closed-off to people that are ‘different’ than yourself, your family and friends. Take a trip to another land. See for yourself. It’s a wonderful world we live in.
from a white woman with friends from many ethnic backgrounds
Those of you who say that classrooms are filled with teachers who are encouraging such things as “black nationalism, political correctness, anti-conservatism and Marxism”. . . please cite your “credible” source for such claims.
Simply because we have many racists as teachers, doesn’t mean we should tolerate ANY of them, including this one. Many “wrongs” still does not make such things Right!
I Be Erudite says
For once I agree with you. As for references I can cite my child who tells me all about the rants his teachers go on at FPC. Leading up to the election it was worse but it still continues
Disgusting excuse for a teacher, KEEP RACISTS AND JESUS OUT OF CLASSROOMS
Mark, well said. Funny when a topic clicks in that triggers the left to engage but when it comes to GOP bashing.. well that is 👌. Silly. They must truly think we are stupid. Got your number. Just sick to see this play out.
We don’t have to cite references, just spend a week at one of the Flagler Beach schools and you will get your fill of it! I would like to know when teachers actually spend time teaching students what they need to know to succeed in life and go on to upper educational schools. I’d be surprised if many schools in this country actually meet the educational criteria for teaching standards.
I will not defend her idiotic beliefs and would not want her around my kids, but the same goes for the teachers who are promoting other idiot beliefs which tend to be liberal tripe which ends up just being another form of hate and bias.
Lol, she seriously looks like she mixed with maybe some spanish or a little native american. She better do that DNA thing before she goes any further lol.
“Those of you who say that classrooms are filled with teachers who are encouraging such things as “black nationalism, political correctness, anti-conservatism and Marxism”. . . please cite your “credible” source for such claims.”
I’ve asked you the same of you with no response, so my recommendation, try Google, it’s your friend.
Ha ha ha—Dayanna Volitich should do a mail-away DNA test to
check the branches of her family tree. Looking at her eyes and complexion,
I’d say that her ancestors have a different view of her racial views.
An English Rose, she’s not.
Shut up and just teach.
(And take down the George Zimmerman pin-ups.)
@ Dave. . . good post! The classroom is not the place for BIAS of any kind. . . including religion, racism, personal political opinion, homophobia, chauvinism, etc. etc. That is what some of those that are “biased” call being “politically correct”. . . while those that are “civilized” see the lack of “bias” as simply being civilized.
ALL teachers that encourage prejudice and bias should be removed from their positions.
Dear Geezer. . . Right On, as always!
Haha she isnt even white smh
Why is this teacher so different,we have many communist teachers in many of our teaching systems in our country,i don’t see any action taken against them!
@Geezer, Sherry & Dave:
Exactly which race is she?
She has said she is of Serbian and Russian descent in the link attached. She has done nothing but preach hate and her excuse was that it was satire. Unreal. . Just check this out,. https://heavy.com/news/2018/03/dayanna-volitich-tiana-dalichov-florida-teacher/
All of you people including the teacher are in La La land.
This hate spewer has no business in the classroom. No child should have to sit in her class knowing the crap that comes out of her mouth towards others. She is entitled to her beliefs but she needs to pick a profession that is not linked to young impressionable minds.