ARLINGTON, Texas - A former pre-school teacher is apologizing after she was fired when past anti-Semitic comments she posted on social media came to light.
Nancy Salem was fired from the Children’s Courtyard Daycare after a report from Canary Mission, a website created to “combat the rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses.”
The website outed her and 23 other current and former UT Arlington students for making racist and violent comments.
In a screen grab of Salem’s Twitter in May 2013, she tweeted “Have a safe trip Lulu. I love you baby girl! See you in 3 weeks! Kiss the Palestine ground for me and kill some jews! <3 #IMissYouAlready.”
Another screen grab showed Salem tweeted, “@DictatorHitler: How many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough’ @PrincessLulllu @thearabgirl HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.”
Salem declined to comment on camera but released the following statement to FOX 4:
"Several years ago, while still a teenager attending high school, I made some racist and anti-Semitic statements that I deeply regret and believe are not a reflection of the beliefs I hold today. Furthermore these statements were made at a time when I was not strong in my faith nor do they reflect the family values of inclusivity and respect for all faiths that my parents have worked very hard to instill in us. As many people can relate, teenagers often get involved with individuals that influence their behaviors and not always for the better and I deeply regret having been influenced in such a way.
That however does not excuse my actions and I am truly sorry for the pain and hurt my words caused, especially to members of the Jewish faith. As a Muslim American of Palestinian heritage, I am all to accustomed to being bullied and the target of hate speech so the fact that I made such statements is even more offensive because I should have known and acted with more compassion. Finally, even though these statements were made years prior to my employment at Children's Courtyard and I do not espouse such sentiments today, I take full responsibility for my past statements and respect the actions my employer took to address the concerns as a result. Thank you."
Salem was suspended and then fired after the daycare found out about her past comments. It's unclear which Children's Courtyard Daycare she worked at. Arlington police say she did not work in the South Arlington location.
“The offensive comments certainly don't reflect our views. Our employees are expected to uphold certain standards of personal and professional conduct,” a daycare spokesperson said. “Our senior leadership thoroughly investigated this matter. This person no longer works for our company.”
A UTA spokesperson says Salem was never admitted into the university.
"As one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, inclusion and respect are at the very core of the values of The University of Texas at Arlington. UTA condemns statements of hate while acknowledging the principles of free speech and open expression," the spokesperson said. "We welcome and encourage the sharing of ideas, thoughts and opinions, but we also expect respect and civility from students, faculty and staff."
Salem’s Twitter account has since been deactivated.