- The Washington Times - Monday, March 5, 2018

A Florida middle school teacher who was “removed” from the classroom on Sunday for hosting a white-nationalist podcast claims she was merely engaging in “political satire and exaggeration” in order to gain followers.

The Citrus County School District said it is investigating a Huffington Post report that claimed Dayanna Volitich, a social studies teacher at Crystal River Middle School, had been secretly hosting the white nationalist podcast “Unapologetic” under the pseudonym “Tiana Dalichov.”

The district did not mention Ms. Volitich by name, but said it “was made aware of a concerning podcast,” and “an investigation was initiated immediately.”

“The teacher has been removed from the classroom and the investigation is ongoing,” the district said in a statement Sunday. “Pursuant to Florida Statute an open investigation and materials related to it are exempt from public record and cannot be discussed until the investigation is complete.”

In her most recent podcast on Feb. 26, Ms. Volitich argued that “science” demonstrated that certain races are smarter than others, and she agreed with a guest that more white supremacists should infiltrate public schools, declaring, “I’m absolutely one of them,” the Huffington Post reported.

Ms. Volitich released a statement Sunday saying there is no truth to allegations that she holds white nationalist or white supremacist views.

“None of the statements released about my being a white nationalist or white supremacist have any truth to them, nor are my political beliefs injected into my teaching of social studies curriculum,” she said, in part. “While operating under the Russian pseudonym ‘Tiana Dalichov’ on social media and the ‘Unapologetic Podcast,’ I employed political satire and exaggeration, mainly to the end of attracting listeners and followers, and generating conversation about the content discussed between myself and my guests.

“As an adult, my decisions are my own, and my family has nothing whatsoever to do with my social media accounts or my podcast. From them, I humbly ask for forgiveness, as it was never my intention to cause them grief while engaging in a hobby on my personal time.”

She said she would have no further comment due to the ongoing investigation by the district.

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