ISD Holds Political Double Standard for Employees

Fort Worth ISD Administration Building
Fort Worth ISD Administration Building | Image by TCU

Despite terminating a teacher in the past for posting their political opinions on social media, Fort Worth ISD has not taken action against a teacher posting left-wing political views.

Fort Worth ISD made national headlines in 2019 when it dismissed one of its teachers, Georgia Clark, for posting political tweets. The tweets, directed at then-President Donald Trump, were critical of the unlawful migration crisis at the southern border.

“Mr. President, Fort Worth Independent School District is loaded with illegal students from Mexico. Carter-Riverside High School has been taken over by them. Drug dealers are on our campus and nothing was done to them,” one of the posts read, according to CBS News Texas. In another post, she asked Trump to have the students “removed.”

The Fort Worth ISD school board unanimously voted to terminate the teacher that year.

Although the board took action against Clark, seemingly over her political posts, a teacher with left-wing political posts has not been similarly penalized.

Ernesto Moran, a Spanish teacher at Western Hills High School in Fort Worth ISD, has been very open about his political views on social media. His website page, which is linked to the Western Hills High School website, has an “About Me” section with an animated Spanish welcome that includes an LGBTQ flag and a Black Lives Matter flag. The page depicts a bookshelf with books such as The Hate U Give, a young adult novel that discusses police brutality, “systemic racism,” and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Moran X’s profile bio states that he is a “HS Spanish teacher/soccer coach, son of immigrants, husband, father, activist, racial justice co-conspirator, 2020 NASW-FtW Public Citizen of the Year, Texan.”

Moran has expressed support for left-wing political candidates, such as Beto O’Rourke, in October of 2022.

“Courageous, Inspiring people can inspire courageous, inspiring art. Thank you @BetoORourke for that moment of courage. #DoSomething #VoteinEveryElection #BetoForTexas,” Moran’s X post read, referring to O’Rourke’s verbal confrontation with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in the days following the mass school shooting in Uvalde.

In another social media post on Instagram from May 2023, Moran showed his support for Fort Worth City Council Member Jared Williams, posting a picture of himself with Williams while wearing a Jared Williams emblazoned t-shirt.

“Vote. In every election. @jaredwilliamstx @iam_davia @kbsteel,” the post reads.

Moran has also expressed opposition against school choice, adding hashtags like #FundTXSchools #NoSchoolVouchers to his social media posts.

In another post from July 2023, Moran called Gov. Abbott a “monster.”

“We are governed by monsters like @GovAbbott …” the X post stated, linking to an article about Texas troopers allegedly being ordered to push unlawful migrant children into the Rio Grande.

Moran also accused a Republican legislator of drowning women and children in July of 2023 and encouraged people to call the legislator’s office.

“No hint of remorse from this legislator. He’s fine with drowning women and children. Here are the phone numbers for this state rep’s district office and Austin office…” reads the X post.

Moran also wrote an article published by the Texas Observer that detailed his leftwing activism and partisan efforts to turn Texas into “a model of progressivism.”

“Little by little, we’re making it happen in Fort Worth with small victories. Doing that across the state, we could build a Texas that is a model of progressivism for the nation. If that sounds unlikely, remember that nothing in Texas politics should be taken for granted. The Republican margins of victory in Texas are getting smaller. Democratic strength is growing in many major cities,” Moran wrote.

The Dallas Express asked Moran whether teachers who post political content should be held equally accountable, regardless of their political ideology.

Moran wrote in an email, “I think every school district employee is free to hold and express their political opinions.”

However, he drew a distinction between his social media posts and Clark’s, arguing that her posts were unacceptable because they purportedly threatened students’ safety since she referred to unlawful migrants in the school district as “illegals” and called for their deportation.

The Texas Education Agency sided with Clark in 2019 and urged the Fort Worth ISD school board to reverse its decision to dismiss Clark since it found the district did not show good cause for her dismissal, reported The Texas Tribune. However, in 2021, a Travis County district judge upheld the school district’s decision to fire Clark.

When asked whether he has participated in political work or activism during school district work hours, Moran stated, “Never. Unless you consider this email, on my lunch hour, to be ‘work hours.'”

Moran also doubled down on his social media posts, especially the one in which he called Abbott a “monster.”

“So the notion that the state’s official policy would be to ‘push small children and nursing babies back into the Rio Grande,’ according to the Houston Chronicle story I retweeted — those were the words of a DPS officer in an email — yes, I would consider that monstrous behavior,” Moran told DX.

DX contacted Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Angelica Ramsey and Western Hills High School Principal Keri Flores for comment on Moran’s social media posts and asked whether every teacher should be held accountable equally regardless of political leaning, but neither school official responded by publication.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article