A 25-year-old middle school social studies teacher in Florida, Dayanna Volitich, also known by the alias and pen-name, Tiana Dalichov, was discovered to have been hosting a white nationalist podcast, expressing right-wing extremist views, including racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim views on Twitter, through video interviews and in columns.
Having previously worked at Crystal River Middle School in Citrus County, Florida, the Citrus County School District confirmed that Volitich was removed from the classroom during the ongoing investigation.
According to Facebook, superintendent of Schools Sandra Himmel issued the following statement:
“On Friday, March 2, 2018, the Citrus County School District was made aware of a concerning podcast by a Huffington Post reporter. The reporter indicated they believed one of the persons participating in the podcast was a teacher at Crystal River Middle School. The Human Resources department was notified and an investigation was initiated immediately.”
“The teacher has been removed from the classroom and the investigation is ongoing. Pursuant to Florida Statute an open investigation and materials related to it are exempt from public record and cannot be discussed until the investigation is complete.”
Who is Dayanna Volitich?
Volitich is originally from the Pittsburgh area; she is currently 25 years of age and lives in Crystal City, Florida. Many personal details were “shared” between Volitich and Dalichov; both claimed to be from similar areas and were the same age; an official school photo for Volitich was also reportedly used for a “Dalichov” account.
It is believed that Volitich has deleted social media accounts under both of her aliases, including her “Unapologetic” podcast, although they can be found archived online.
During one of her podcasts, she discussed how she implemented her politics into the classroom:
“The 2016 election was the school year and I can’t tell you how many times my students would ask me who I voted for. And I said, ‘I’m not going to tell you who I voted for.’ Because if I go that way we’re in big trouble and I can get in serious trouble with my administrators. But if you can figure out who I voted for, you an put the name in this basket on my desk and we’ll see how many of you have figured it out. If you can use logic and pay attention to the things that I believe when we have discussions, and you can figure it out, then I will give your class a reward at the end of the election if you guessed it right. And they all got it right, which was extremely gratifying to me.”
“It shows me that either A) I’m extremely transparent or B) They were able to pay attention, they were engaging with me, with what I was saying and what we were discussing and they were able to do something with it. And I think that’s what so many teachers are not doing anymore. They’re not truly engaging their students, they’re avoiding the hard topics. They’re avoiding the things we should be talking about. And as a civics teacher I was able to do that. I was able to access those tough discussions and actually engage with the kids on those topics. … The administrators were not around, when those discussions happened, however, the kids really seemed to like them. They appreciated the fact I didn’t censor them in anyway, I let them speak their mind and they were able to kind of get things off their chest and ask questions, questions their parents might give a biased answer for, which I think a lot of them seemed to appreciate.”
“That’s kind of how I run things in my classroom, I just try to present the facts and we get it from all different sources. We go to different places, we try to figure out what the facts were and once we figure out the facts we say, ‘now what’s the conclusion that we should build based on the facts that we found.’ And then we would talk about it. And that’s pretty much how the class went for 180 days.”
In addition, she was also known as a writer. In particular, she was found to have anti-Muslim views during a piece she wrote for theHalsey News, according to The Daily Deb:
“Islam does not belong here. It is an ideology built upon the premise of violence. A religion whose followers are taught in the Qu’ran itself to kill nonbelievers and follow the example of a hedonistic cult leader desperate for power and blood. It clashes with everything this country stands for and puts Western civilization at risk. Speaking the truth about Islam is not bigotry. Being critical of Islam is not racist or Islamophobic.”
According to The Daily Deb, she also wrote posts concerning the concept of white privilege on her Twitter account:
“White privilege? Prove to me that it exists. Show me statistics that prove whites benefit economically SOLELY because of their race.”
“What does having compassion have to do with the fact that systematic racism and white privilege aren’t real?”