COLUMBIA — A Lexington County social studies teacher has been placed on leave a day after online postings accused an educator from the same school of being a Nazi who helped organize protesters going the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Lexington County One School District is “thoroughly investigating” accusations against a 42-year-old social studies teacher at Pleasant Hill Middle School, district spokeswoman Mary Beth Hill said. The district did not name the teacher or elaborate on the accusations raised in a Twitter thread posted Wednesday.
But an attorney hired by the family confirmed the teacher named in tweets, Tim Manning Jr., was placed on leave from Pleasant Hill.
Manning's wife, Melissa, denied the social media allegations when contacted Thursday by The Post and Courier before referring additional questions to their attorney.
“They have absolutely nothing to do with the repugnant Twitter account referenced in recent blog articles and on social media," Columbia-based lawyer Elizabeth Millender said in a statement. "They are not members of, nor do they sympathize in any way with, fringe or otherwise prejudicial groups or associations.
"Any insinuation that the Mannings are responsible for the subject social media account is tantamount to false light and will be dealt with appropriately in a legal manner. The Mannings are good, hardworking public servants.”
A Twitter thread posted Wednesday published assertions of Manning's involvement as a Nazi planning travel and lodging for the Charlottesville rally. The mass gathering attracted white supremacists in the fight over moving a Confederate statue from a public park. A counter-protester was run over by a car and killed during the rally.
The teacher was placed on leave after the district's human resources office was informed about the online posts, Hill said.
“The district takes any incident like this seriously,” she said.