A former Pittsburgh teacher has sued the city school district and its board, saying she was improperly fired after she reposted a right-wing commentary critical of the “welfare state” on her personal Facebook page.
Denise Deltondo, who had been a math teacher, vice principal and kindergarten teacher with 27 years in the district, said administrators and the board “outrageously defamed her and stigmatized her as a racist and bigot,” suspended her and then fired her without a fair hearing.
Ms. Deltondo filed the suit Friday in U.S. District Court, alleging the district violated her rights to free speech and due process to defend herself.
Ms. Deltondo, who describes herself as a Donald Trump supporter, shared a post on her personal Facebook account on Aug. 9, 2020, of a clip that she says in her lawsuit “pointed out the hypocrisy of those who rely on public assistance complaining about ‘privilege’ while profligately spending that public assistance and living a life without the responsibility assumed by taxpayers.”
The post, reproduced in the lawsuit, says in part that “privilege is sending your kids to school early for the before-school programs and breakfast, and then keeping them there for the afterschool program…paid for by the people who DO HAVE TO DEAL WITH RISING TAXES AND COSTS! …you know, us so-called ‘PRIVILEGED’ the ones who pay while you TAKE TAKE TAKE!”
Ms. Deltondo said her only action was to write “awesome read!” in response to the post.
Her page did not identify her as a teacher.