COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina middle school teacher was placed on leave after a social media post accused him of being a Nazi who helped make travel arrangements for white supremacists attending a 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ended in violence.
Lexington County School District One spokeswoman Mary Beth Hill said they were investigating racism allegations against a social studies teacher at Pleasant Hill Middle School, The Post and Courier reported Thursday. The district didn’t name the teacher or elaborate on the accusations.
Tim Manning Jr. was the teacher named in a Twitter thread Wednesday, Manning family lawyer Elizabeth Millender confirmed in a statement.
The thread accused Manning of having a Twitter account labeling himself a Nazi and said he made travel and lodging plans for white nationalist rally participants.
Millender said Manning had nothing to do with the “repugnant Twitter account” referenced by the thread. She also said the family doesn’t “sympathize in any way with, fringe or otherwise prejudicial groups or associations.”
Manning’s wife, Melissa, also denied the allegations Thursday, the newspaper reported.
“Any insinuation that the Mannings are responsible for the subject social media account is tantamount to false light and will be dealt with appropriately in a legal manner,” Millender said. “The Mannings are good, hardworking public servants.”
Hill said the district was taking the incident seriously.
The 2017 “Unite the Right” rally drew hundreds of white nationalists to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr. was sentenced to life for plowing his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters during the rally, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens.