A middle school teacher in Florida has been removed from her classroom as the school investigates a report that she was the voice behind a white nationalist podcast, though the teacher denies she is racist and says the comments are just “political satire.”
Dayanna Volitich, a 25-year-old social studies teacher at Crystal River Middle School north of Tampa, was the subject of a report in HuffPost that said she — under the alias of Tiana Dalichov — bragged about teaching white nationalist views in school. According to the report, the podcast included anti-Semitic remarks, comments regarding students of specific races being smarter than others and suggesting that terrorism will only stop if Muslims are eradicated from the Earth.
Dalichov openly talked about being a public school teacher, but never mentioned the school by name, according to the report. Volitich’s picture, which HuffPost said appears to show the same person as Dalichov, was still posted on the school’s website as of Monday morning.
The Citrus County School District said Sunday it learned of the podcast when it was contacted by a HuffPost reporter and immediately launched an investigation.
"The teacher has been removed from the classroom and the investigation is ongoing," the district said in a statement.
NBC News obtained a statement released from Volitich that read in part:
“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. 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."
Volitich said she would have no further comment due to the ongoing investigation from the district.