Austin ISD school board upholds termination of teacher after viral TikTok video

AUSTIN, TexasEarlier this year, Sophia DeLoretto-Chudy went viral on TikTok after posting a video about her meeting with her former administrator.

Austin ISD put DeLoretto-Chudy on administrative leave back in March. In April, the district sent her a letter notifying they’re terminating her employment.

“We were given the opportunity to have a grievance hearing over Zoom in September. And so, we made the case that it violated the first amendment for me to be terminated and that it wasn’t in the best interest of the district and that I hadn’t violated the policies that they claimed,” says former AISD teacher Sophia DeLoretto-Chudy.

According to AISD, DeLoretto-Chudy violated the district’s social media policy. In the employee handbook, it states if an employee’s use of electronic communication interferes with the employee’s ability to perform his or her duties, it could lead to termination.

During Wednesday’s special board meeting, the board of trustees upheld the termination.

RELATED: Austin ISD teacher fired over viral TikTok video

“It was very unclear which argument the school district was going with. That was deciding what justified not bringing me back or not allowing me to go back to teaching or subbing. And we had knowledge that, you know, the likely outcome was going to be that the board was going to uphold the decision of the school district,” says DeLoretto-Chudy.

DeLoretto-Chudy says during the hearing Wednesday night, the district told her the reason for her termination wasn’t because of the content of the TikTok.

“It was the fact that there were disruptions to the operations of the school district because of tech talk. And we pushed back against that because this is one of the biggest school districts in Texas,” says DeLoretto-Chudy.

For now, DeLoretto-Chudy’s lawyer is making an appeal to the school board’s decision. She is hoping the district will overturn their decision, so she can go back to teaching.

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