Updates: This article has been amended to clarify that the teacher was not a member of the University of Texas at Arlington’s chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine and to include a statement from the teacher.
An Arlington preschool teacher has been fired after a watchdog group revealed that she had posted disturbing statements online about Jews.
According to Dallas News, the teacher, Nancy Salem, was fired from The Children’s Courtyard preschool after watchdog group Canary Mission uncovered anti-Semitic tweets she issued in the past, as well as similar posts made by several current or former students of the University of Texas at Arlington.
“How many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough!” she tweeted in 2013. In another tweet that year, she wished her friend a safe trip, apparently back home, writing, “Kiss the Palestine ground for me and kill some jews!” (screenshots via Canary Mission below)
Canary Mission says they also uncovered similar posts by 18 members of the University of Texas at Arlington chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, a nationwide student club known for its promotion of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda. The student group, Canary Mission states, is a “focal point for campus anti-Semitism.”
In a correction to its original report, Dallas News clarified that Salem is not enrolled at UTA nor is she a member of the university’s SJP chapter, as originally reported. She is a former student of Tarrant County College.
Children’s Courtyard issued a statement explaining why they dismissed the preschool teacher:
Providing a safe, nurturing and inclusive learning environment is of the utmost importance to us. The offensive comments certainly don’t reflect our views. Our employees are expected to uphold certain standards of personal and professional conduct. Our senior leadership thoroughly investigated this matter. This person no longer works for our company.
Salem has since issued a statement expressing regret for the posts:
“Several years ago, while still a teenager attending high school, I made some racist and anti-Semitic statements that I deeply regret and believe are not a reflection of the beliefs I hold today. Furthermore, these statements were made at a time when I was not strong in my faith nor do they reflect the family values of inclusivity and respect for all faiths that my parents have worked very hard to instill in us. As many people can relate, teenagers often get involved with individuals that influence their behaviors and not always for the better and I deeply regret having been influenced in such a way.
“That, however, does not excuse my actions and I am truly sorry for the pain and hurt my words caused, especially to members of the Jewish faith. As a Muslim American of Palestinian heritage, I am all too accustomed to being bullied and the target of hate speech so the fact that I made such statements is even more offensive because I should have known and acted with more compassion. Finally, even though these statements were made years prior to my employment at Children’s Courtyard and I do not espouse such sentiments today, I take full responsibility for my past statements and respect the actions my employer took to address the concerns as a result.”
Canary Mission made the posts of Salem and 18 SJP members public, along with those of a handful of other current and former students of UTA. In total, the watchdog group said they found around two dozen current or former UTA students to have posted anti-Semitic statements.
Though she has since deleted her account after being outed by Canary Mission, the group took screenshots of the fired preschool teacher’s posts, two of which are below via Dallas News:
Canary Mission provides a database “created to document the people and groups that are promoting hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews on college campuses in North America.” Learn more about the group here.
This article has been updated and reformatted.