U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Irenas turned down an injunction that would have stopped a New Jersey high school security guard from being fired over her comments about “another black thug” on Facebook.
According to NJ.com, twelve-year veteran Mary Czaplinski made the comments on her social media account the day after Philadelphia police officer Robert Wilson was killed while trying to break up a robbery.
“Praying hard for the Philly cop shot today by another black thug,” the Vineland High School employee wrote. “may(be) all white people should start riots and protests and scare the hell out of them.”
She also posted a picture of Wilson the next day with the caption: “This is what a hero looks like.”
Czaplinski later tried to justify her comments, saying, “…there are thugs of every race…im just tired of race cards being played all over the place…whether black, white, Mexican, Spanish, Puerto rican, Cuban, polish, Italian, irish…we are people…Maybe if we all just accepted the fact things could change.”
School officials were made aware of Czaplinski’s comments via an anonymous email, and she was placed on administrative leave March 7. A week later, Joseph Rossi, the schools’ personnel director, sent her a letter to notify her that she had been fired.
“Your offensive and inflammatory remark is troubling for any person but it is especially inappropriate and disconcerting for a public school security officer,” Rossi wrote.
Czaplinski has since sued the school, claiming both that her comments would not interfere with her ability to do her job and that her constitution right to free speech was violated. However, the district judge disagreed.
“The Court finds that Plaintiff is unlikely to succeed in her claim that her comment was constitutionally protected, because Defendant likely had adequate justification, based on Plaintiff’s position as a security guard, for treating her differently from any other member of the general public,” Irenas ruled.
It is not immediately clear whether or not Czaplinski will appeal the decision.