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Summerville teacher accused of posting racist comments online no longer employed with DD2

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Dorchester District 2 office (copy)

A teacher formerly employed at Dorchester School District 2 is no longer associated with the school district in any capacity, a spokeswoman says. File

A newly hired Summerville teacher accused of posting racist comments on social media is no longer employed or affiliated with Dorchester District 2. 

Jacob Kirtley had been offered a contract to teach at Alston Middle School for the 2020-21 school year, said district spokeswoman Pat Raynor. 

The district was made aware of various racist and anti-Semitic social media posts allegedly attributed to Kirtley last week and immediately launched an investigation, Raynor said. 

On Tuesday night, the district released a statement confirming the individual at the center of its recent investigation "is no longer affiliated with the district in any capacity." The district did not confirm whether it determined the social media posts in question had been officially linked to Kirtley. 

"The district regrets the pain and concern this situation has caused, especially to our students and families. Our district has a strong commitment to embracing diversity, equity, and fostering the relationships we have among all students, families, and community members," the statement read.

Multiple attempts to reach Kirtley by phone and social media were not successful. 

The district declined to say if Kirtley was fired or if he submitted a resignation. Kirtley previously worked as an assistant coach at Ashley Ridge High School, Raynor said, but was not a direct employee of the district until he was offered a teaching contract for the upcoming school year. 

A Twitter thread posted Thursday linked Kirtley to a now-deleted social media profile that frequently posted racist and anti-Semitic content and comments.

The accusations went viral and were shared more than 2,500 times. Parents and community members lobbied the school district to take action and shared their frustrations online after the school district didn't address the situation during its latest board meeting Monday night. 

The Twitter account that shared the initial allegations against Kirtley was also responsible for accusing a Lexington County teacher of being a Nazi who helped organize protesters going to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. The teacher in question denied the allegations outright and ultimately resigned from the district after being placed on leave. 

The accusations against Kirtley come as the latest in a string of racist social media comments publicized online in the wake of nationwide protests and civil unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd, sparking some schools and employers across the state to expel students and fire employees. 

Contact Jenna Schiferl at 843-937-5764. Follow her on Twitter at @jennaschif.

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