Middle School Teacher Put on Leave After Misidentifying and Doxxing Covington Catholic Student, Calling Him 'Hitler Youth'

Posted: Jan 28, 2019 3:00 PM
Middle School Teacher Put on Leave After Misidentifying and Doxxing Covington Catholic Student, Calling Him 'Hitler Youth'

Source: AP Photo/Bryan Woolston

A Colorado schoolteacher and union leader has resigned from her union position, after being placed on paid leave for doxxing the wrong Covington Catholic student and calling him a “Hitler Youth” online.

According to Denver’s 9 News:

“Images of Twitter posts from a now-deleted account, attributed to Mountain Ridge Middle School teacher Michelle Grissom, appeared to be an attempt to doxx, or publicly identify, the high school student from Kentucky seen standing face-to-face with a Native American activist in Washington, D.C. last Friday.”

Michelle Grissom, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Mountain Ridge Middle School (MRMS), is reported to have named and posted a picture of Covington Catholic student Jay Jackson, claiming he was one of the students wearing a MAGA hat in Washington, D.C. during the infamous encounter with Native American activist Nathan Phillips.

Jackson, however, was apparently not in D.C. during the time of the confrontation. According to Jackson’s parents, he was in Kentucky playing in a basketball game instead.

Dr. John Jackson, Jay’s father, allegedly asked Grissom multiple times to remove the inaccurate tweets, which included his son’s photo and name and stated the boy was a part of the “Hitler Youth.” Grissom refused to do so until Sunday night, which is when Jackson finally sent a screen image of the tweet to Grissom’s employer, Colorado’s Douglas County School District (DCSD).

On Wednesday, MRMS parents received an email notifying them about Grissom’s employment status.

“Michelle Grissom is currently on leave,” MRMS principal Shannon Clarke wrote in an email to parents Wednesday. “Please understand that I am unable to share specific details, as this is a personnel matter.”

John Jackson appeared to be grateful for the development.

“After her viscous [sic] treatment of my son and viewing some of her hateful social media posts I am thankful that she will not be around children until this situation is fully evaluated,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

However according to 9 News, as of Wednesday afternoon, DCSD had not yet reached out to the Jacksons.

“We were shocked and disappointed when nobody from the school district reached out to us,” John Jackson said. “We feel like this is a serious offense and would like at least some form of acknowledgment and apology.”

So far, DCSD has been evasive. On Thursday night, when a concerned parent attempted to ask about the incident at the Douglas County School Board meeting, he was escorted out by security.

According to 9 News, the man approached the podium and asked about the district’s social media policy, which includes guidelines for use outside of work. The policy includes the following paragraph:

Avoid using statements, photographs, video or audio that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, unprofessional, obscene, threatening or intimidating, disruptive to the efficient operations of schools, violates an employee’s duty of loyalty to DCSD, that disparages DCSD employees, students, communities, customers, partners and affiliates, or that might constitute harassment or bullying. Examples of such conduct might include offensive posts meant to intentionally harm someone’s reputation or posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment.

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“Here we are, a community incensed by a teacher’s social media posts. Nobody wants to be here discussing this, but no matter how uncomfortable, we must confront this,” he told the school board.

“I can’t imagine what drove a teacher to make comments online that were hateful and bigoted,” he went on. “Now we’re all left picking up the pieces that she broke.”

As the speaker continued, he used Michelle Grissom’s name. That was when board members stopped him to say he had violated meeting rules.

“You are out of order at this time. No one can hear you as you speak because your microphone is no longer [operable],” David Ray, the board president, told the speaker.

An officer then escorted the speaker away from the podium.

But Next with Kyle Clark obtained video of a DCSD board meeting earlier this month, when a woman mentioned people by name. She was permitted to stay.

Attorney Nicolle Martin, who also represented Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, has offered legal support to the Jackson family.

On Thursday, Grissom resigned from her position on the Douglas County Federation’s executive board.

It is still unclear whether Grissom will return to the classroom.

Multiple attempts by 9 News to contact Grissom by phone and email have been unsuccessful.

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