Crystal River Middle School social studies teacher Dayanna Volitich has been removed from the classroom as part of a Citrus County School District investigation following reports by the Huffington Post that Volitich made racist comments under an alias in podcasts and on Twitter.
Her removal was announced in a statement released by the district Sunday.
"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 statement reads. "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."
According to the Huffington Post, the teacher is using the pseudonym “Tiana Dalichov” while hosting the podcast “Unapologetic.” The Chronicle has not been able to independently confirm the Huffington Post's assertions about Dalichov's identity.
The weekly podcast is a new venture for Dalichov, having launched in February 2018. According to caches of her Twitter profile, which was deleted as of March 2 along with a Facebook profile, Dalichov had just shy of 1,400 followers on Twitter.
Dalichov's podcast was also featured in a post on the blog “Angry White Men,” which is dedicated to “tracking the adherents of the new white supremacy,” according to the site.
An education reporter for the Huffington Post contacted school board members Thursday with the allegations and said Dalichov spoke on the podcast about her “belief that different races have different IQs.”
Volitich did not respond Friday evening to an email request for comment by a Chronicle reporter.
According to the story, Dalichov “talks regularly about being a teacher (even mentioning she teaches in Florida) and makes statements that are deeply alarming — particularly for someone tasked with shaping the minds … students.”
The story quickly went viral, getting picked up within 24 hours by multiple national and international media outlets. As of Sunday afternoon, posts on the story on social media site Reddit had tens of thousands of upvotes from users and had solicited more than 2,400 comments.
Contact Chronicle reporter Carly Zervis at 352-564-2925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.