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Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 @ 10:15 PM
URBANA — An Urbana teacher fired after sending a text message about using her CCW and later sending another text with an altered image of her principal’s face on a shooting range target said she would never harm anyone and was a victim of bullying.
Nori McCall-Fasse, a first-grade teacher at Urbana North Elementary School, taught in the district for 19 years before she was placed on paid leave and eventually terminated for allegedly violating board policies.
McCall-Fasse appealed her firing to Champaign County Common Pleas Court, where Judge Nick Selvaggio ruled in favor of termination.
McCall-Fasse said the work environment with her principal was toxic.
“I had been dealing with this bully principal that had been targeting me for over four years. It was one thing after another,” she said.
As a means of coping, McCall-Fasse said she joked with her other teacher friends about the principal, Julie Willoughby.
“There was a meme I sent of Julie Willoughby’s face above a target thingy. It was for my co-worker ... as a joke,” she said.
That meme and a text message that was shared, “Something is about to get “real”! Can I please have my stupid sub folder put into my mailbox? I’m about ready to use my CCW!!,” is what led to her firing.
A former Urbana Board of Education member said he believes it was the wrong decision to fire McCall-Fasse.
“I felt the superintendent was arbitrary and capricious and vindictive in what he was doing,” said Jack Beard.
The district said the teacher violated board policies prohibiting threatening conduct.
Superintendent Charles Thiel said the board and administration are relieved to have the issue resolved.
McCall-Fasse maintains she never meant for the meme to be seen as a threat, that it was something she shared among friends as a joke.
“That’s not by personality to be violent with anyone, ever. People who know me, know that,” she said.