AUSTIN, Texas - This past school year was Sophia DeLoretto-Chudy's first year teaching third grade at Austin's Becker Elementary School.
Being a first-year teacher, she faced many challenges. So, when the principal called her in for a meeting this March, she thought they were going to discuss ways they could help her in the classroom.
"They brought me a list of concerns. I was a little taken aback," DeLoretto-Chudy said. "It caused me to have quite a bit of anxiety."
Some of the concerns on that list mentioned:
- Doing a book study on Harry Potter
- Not responding to emails in a timely manner
- Her students choosing to sit for the Pledge of Allegiance
"It just felt like a very demoralizing meeting. I think that's really the word for it, where I didn't feel supported, and I felt disrespected," said DeLoretto-Chudy.
DeLoretto-Chudy says the meeting left her in disbelief. That's when she went on TikTok to vent on how her meeting went.
"I fell asleep, and I woke up the next morning, and it had 1.5 million views," DeLoretto-Chudy said.
The next day, human resources called DeLoretto-Chudy into the districts office and put her on administrative leave.
"I had my badge taken away," DeLoretto-Chudy said. "I was locked out of all the apps, was not allowed to communicate with anybody."
According to the district, DeLoretto-Chudy violated the AISD social media policy by posting her TikTok. In the employee handbook, it states if an employee's use of electronic communication interferes with the employee's ability to perform his or her duties, it could lead to termination.
- Eanes ISD receives $2.65M grant for 2023-24 school year
- Del Valle ISD Book Bus back on the road this summer
- Eanes ISD board approves forming district police department
- Itasca ISD suspends superintendent following child sex sting arrest
"They made it clear that it wasn't. It didn't have anything to do with my instructional practices or what I was teaching or how I was teaching. And it had everything to do with the fact that I had embarrassed one of my administrators on TikTok," said DeLoretto-Chudy.
So, what's next for the educator?
"I've been coming to the capitol and advocating for teachers. And so often I was the only teacher in the room giving testimony on policies that would affect teachers directly in the classroom," she said.