A Rhode Island teacher is under investigation after tweeting out a message offering payment to COVID-19 patients to deliberately cough on President Trump and infect him with the deadly virus.
The female teacher identified herself in a later tweet as a sixth-grade teacher at Villa Nova Middle School which is located in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
“Somebody with Covid-19, I will pay you to cough on #Trump,” read the original tweet. The account used by the teacher has now been deleted, but was created under the name “Proud Teacher.”
The teacher has not been identified by the school district, but other media sources have reported that her name is Amy Bednarz, and that she works as an English Language Learner teacher at Villa Nova Middle School.
School Committee Chairman Paul Bourget called the threatening tweet “a serious matter” and promised a full investigation to get “concrete evidence and a concrete determination.”
“If this thing pans out, if it’s true she did it, then we’ll take appropriate action,” Bourget promised.
School District Superintendent Patrick McGee also spoke to media about the incident. He reported that the teacher was placed on administrative leave and will not be allowed to have contact with students or faculty until the matter is resolved.
“Once we conclude the investigation, we’ll make a determination as to whether or not there’ll be any consequences with respect to that staff member,” he said. He labeled the tweet “pretty vile and disgusting,” adding, “That’s not what the Woonsocket Education Department espouses. It’s not in line with our core values. And it’s not in line with our ideals here in Woonsocket.”
“It is unprofessional and sends the wrong message during a time when our whole education community is setting a national example,” concurred Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green in a tweet. “This is not acceptable and certainly not representative of the overwhelming majority of RI teachers.”
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