CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. (AP) — A Florida middle-school teacher accused of operating a white nationalist podcast under an online alias has been removed from her classes while her employer investigates.
The Citrus County School District said in a statement Sunday that it was notified of the teacher’s podcast and racist statements on Thursday by a HuffPost reporter. Citrus County is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf coast.
HuffPost identified the teacher, saying she used the alias Tiana Dalichov on podcasts — including one she hosted called “Unapologetic” — and social media to espouse racist views. In one posted comment, she said people of some races are more intelligent than others, the report said.
In a podcast posted with the story, Dalichov said parents had complained to school administrators about her political bias influencing her class. She said she lied to the principal and denied it.
The district said it started an investigation immediately after being notified by the HuffPost reporter.
“The teacher has been removed from the classroom and the investigation is ongoing,” the district’s statement said.
NBC News quoted an unidentified attorney for the teacher as saying that she “employed political satire and exaggeration” on the podcast, but that statements made about her having white nationalist views don’t “have any truth to them.”
“The views ‘Tiana Dalichov’ espouses do not pervade my professional career,” the statement read.
The teacher didn’t respond to a request for comment left on her “Gab” social media account.