An Indian-origin teacher has been suspended after a video of a controversial classroom stunt that shows her firing a water gun at an image of President Donald Trump and yelling “die” went viral online.
Payal Modi, an art teacher at Adamson High School in Dallas, Texas, was caught on camera shooting a squirt gun as a video of President Trump at his Inauguration ceremony projected onto a whiteboard.
An eight-second video was posted to a personal Instagram account on January 20, the date of Trump’s inauguration, showing Modi holding a water gun, pointing it at an image of Trump projected onto a whiteboard, and yelling “Die!” as she shoots the gun.
Tens of thousands of people have seen the video since it was posted online Wednesday, prompting an investigation from officials at the Dallas Independent School District.
Dallas Independent School District (DISD) spokeswoman Robyn Harris was quoted by the Dallas Morning News as saying that Modi was placed on leave. However, she said DISD would not comment as it investigates the incident.
“Today, we were made aware of a social media posting being circulated involving a teacher at W H Adamson High School. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave and the district has opened an investigation. This is a personnel matter and, as such, we cannot comment,” the statement said.
However, that has not stopped parents from voicing their concerns.
“Five of my grandchildren go to Dallas ISD schools...do you have a venue where concerned voices can be heard?” one Facebook user asked.
Some students admit Modi’s actions were inappropriate, but ultimately, the majority believe the teacher was just making a joke, CBS News reported.
“Although her actions didn’t display that she was a good role model, she’s always there and supports my classmates, my peers,” Briana Castillo, a senior at the school, was quoted as saying.
Adamson High School junior Leslie Jaimes said she was in Modi’s second-period class when the teacher pulled out a squirt gun she had taken earlier from a student.
“Trump came out and she shot at him, but like, it was just a water gun,” Jaimes said. “It’s no big deal”.