"Nationalist propaganda": Netizens react as Texas teacher gets fired over TikTok video showing students protesting Pledge of Allegiance

A Austin ISD teacher fired after students sit during Pledge of Allegiance (Image via TikTok/@sophforpresident)
A Austin ISD teacher fired after students sit during Pledge of Allegiance (Image via TikTok/@sophforpresident)

Sophia DeLoretto-Chudy, a Texas elementary school teacher, was fired after her TikTok video about allowing third graders to sit in protest during the school assembly Pledge of Allegiance went viral. In the clip shared in March, the Becker Elementary School teacher claimed that the Austin Independent School District (Austin ISD) authorities were concerned about her teaching style.

The educator explained that she was pulled into a "check-in" meeting with the school administrators after the protesting students had linked her lessons about Nazi propaganda to the Pledge (of their own violation). The video, posted on her TikTok profile @sophforpresident has garnered over 3.3 million views.

Sophia explained that the students compared her lessons about German children being brainwashed - given during Holocaust Remembrance Week - and her conversation about the Civil War origins of the pledge, and chose not to stand. It is to be noted that Texas law mandates state teachers to provide lessons about the Holocaust during the remembrance week.

The Texas teacher was later given a list of complaints against her teaching style, leaving her baffled. It reportedly included "an intentional attempt in teaching (her) students about their legal and constructional rights," and failure to answer emails in a timely manner.

On June 9, 2023, she told CBS Austin that she was placed on administrative leave by the school district's HR department, as her TikToks were "causing a lot of disruptions." She then added that she was subsequently fired.

The news left many concerned about the development.

A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @SraAntonio)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @SraAntonio)

"Teachers teach not divide!": Texas school teacher's TikTok draws mixed reactions from netizens

As news of Sophia DeLoretto-Chudy getting fired spread, netizens were quick to share their reactions. While many were concerned that the students were too young to be taught about politics and the Holocaust, others commented in support of the Texas teacher, hoping for more brave educators like her.

Here are some comments seen on Twitter:

A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @demodn5)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @demodn5)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @lesuperburp)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @lesuperburp)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @Peteach4)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @Peteach4)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @TheSUMO_IRL)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @TheSUMO_IRL)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @tx_buyer)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @tx_buyer)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @ChrisMicheal50)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via Twitter/ @ChrisMicheal50)

Here are some comments seen under Sophie's TikTok:

A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @Evan)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @Evan)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @LanaRaeBlack)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @LanaRaeBlack)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @VitaminCam)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @VitaminCam)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @joelow399)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @joelow399)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @MAria Magdanela)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @MAria Magdanela)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @Tiffsasork)
A comment reacting to the news (Image via TikTok/ @Tiffsasork)

The Texas elementary school teacher said she is grateful for being able to teach her students to be "critical thinkers" and make "decisions for themselves and not just because an authority tells them that they have to."

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When questioned about the current development, an Austin Independent School District spokesperson remarked that they do not "comment on personnel matters."

No other statements were released.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal