In response to the image of a man holding a sign that said “deport illegal aliens,” Bonnie Verne, who had taught at Pardes Jewish Day School for 12 years, tweeted on Feb. 18, “Or we can just put a bullet in their head immediately.”
Although Verne has deleted her Twitter account, a series of offensive tweets by her this month were automatically cached by Google or were available online as screenshots. “Finally, ICE is back in action to clean up dirt living on the streets,” Verne tweeted on Feb. 14. “Why deport? Just kill them,” Verne tweeted on Feb. 18 in response to an Ann Coulter tweet about immigrants.
This rash of tweets provoked a backlash online, with dozens of Twitter users decrying Verne for her tweets. Some users traced her back to her position at Pardes.
“Please check out @bonnieyuma,” a user with a profile picture of the Obama family tweeted, using Verne’s Twitter screenname. “She is a 3rd grade teacher at Pardes Day School in Scottsdale. She is advocating shooting undocumented!”
Pardes Head of School Jill Kessler sent a letter to Pardes parents on Feb. 20 announcing Verne’s resignation.
“Bonnie deeply regrets having in recent days made comments using her personal social media account that were inappropriate, offensive, and unbefitting of a Pardes teacher,” Kessler wrote in a letter. “She believes, and the school concurs, that the best course of action, both for her and Pardes, is for her to resign immediately.”
Pardes was founded in 1993 and serves kindergarten through eighth grade.
“This is a very sad day for our students, but we must live by the values we teach,” Kessler said. “As an educational institution, even in our darkest moments, we can use these opportunities to teach and learn.”