Stefanik slams NY teacher’s termination, alleges it was for criticizing COVID-19 mask mandate on Facebook

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Stefanik slams NY teacher’s termination, alleges it was for criticizing COVID-19 mask mandate on Facebook

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles! House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik is alleging that a teacher in Fulton County, New York, has

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House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik is alleging that a teacher in Fulton County, New York, has been fired for sharing content from Stefanik’s accounts on social media criticizing the state’s mask mandate – and the congresswoman is now on a warpath to get the teacher reinstated, with the help of the local community.

The village of Mayfield, a tiny town of less than 1,000 people, was rocked with controversy after Carrie Lizzio, a teacher at the Mayfield Central School District (MCSD), was allegedly put on administrative leave over an inappropriate Facebook post. 

Stefanik decried the termination as “unconstitutional,” questioning why Lizzio was put on administrative leave for posts on her personal, private Facebook page. Her campaign against the school board has been bolstered by local parents and even the town’s mayor.

“Last night, numerous constituents brought to my attention information regarding a Pre-K teacher in Fulton County who was wrongfully put on administrative leave for sharing one of my Facebook posts on her private, personal Facebook page,” Stefanik wrote in a statement Saturday. “This widely-respected Pre-K teacher was outrageously escorted from her classroom and is no longer allowed on school property pending an investigation.”

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House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., on Oct. 26, 2021. 

House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., on Oct. 26, 2021. 
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The congresswoman is not the only person questioning the school district’s decision. Even local politicians have called the move unnecessarily hostile.

“This is divisive times, and we don’t need this. The school district has overreacted,” Mayor Jamie Ward said of Lizzio’s termination. Ward also told reporters that Lizzio was escorted out of the school in the middle of the workday. 

“She is the poster child for a perfect teacher,” Ward continued. “I don’t care what they come back with. Whatever their reason is, this is wrong.”

Stefanik is not only seeking Lizzio’s reinstatement, but the termination of administrators behind the original decision to cut the pre-K teacher loose.

“I am publicly calling for the full reinstatement of this dedicated Pre-K teacher, and I am calling for the resignation of any and all Administrators who made this wrongful determination,” Stefanik continued. 

Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., speaks with reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., speaks with reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Stefanik’s slammed various lawmakers in the state, including Gov. Kathy Hochul, the New York State Department of Education, and MCSD.

“Make no mistake – Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State Department of Education, and Mayfield Central School District, this is unconstitutional, and I join the community in fully standing behind and supporting this teacher’s First Amendment constitutional rights,” Stefanik wrote.

Of particular scorn in the statement was Gov. Hochul and her administration’s continued mask mandates and COVID-19 guidelines.

“Not only are New York’s teachers forced to comply with Hochul’s unscientific and abusive mandates negatively impacting students, including those with special needs, but they are also then illegally punished for sharing their personal opinions about the detrimental impacts these polices may have on their students,” Stefanik said.

The school district has so far failed to produce a record of the social media post that justified Lizzio’s termination, but steadfastly denies it was related to Stefanik.

“While we typically do not comment on personnel matters, the information Ms. Stefanik posted is misleading and inaccurate,” a MCSD spokesperson said in a statement to reporters. “Ms. Stefanik’s allegation that a teacher has been placed on administrative leave for ‘sharing one of her Facebook posts’ regarding the mask mandate also is inaccurate.”

“My office will be submitting numerous Freedom of Information Law requests to the New York State Department of Education, the school district, and school board. Any destruction or cover up of documents or communications is a crime,” Stefanik warned.

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Stefanik is the third most senior member of the Republican Party.

She founded the political action committee E-PAC after the 2018 midterm elections to “recruit, engage, empower, elevate and elect more GOP women to office.” In 2020, E-PAC helped more than double the number of GOP women in Congress in what President Trump called 2020, “The Year of the Republican Women.” 11 out of the 15 seats that flipped red were won by E-PAC endorsed Republican women.

MCSD did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on Tuesday.

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