NBC News

Florida teacher who hosted white nationalist podcast is removed from classroom

March 6, 2018
Report discloses that Dayanna Volitich, 25, a teacher at Crystal River Middle School in Crystal River, Fla., is host of "Unapologetic," which espoused white nationalist views.

A Florida teacher has been removed from her middle school classroom after it was revealed that she had secretly hosted a white nationalist podcast.

NBC News reports that Dayanna Volitich, 25, remains a social studies teacher at Crystal River Middle School in Crystal River, Fla., while the Citrus County School District looks into the revelations about Volitich's ties to the podcast "Unapologetic."

The district said in a statement that after it learned of Volitich's connection to the podcast, officials notified human resources, which launched a review. 

"The teacher has been removed from the classroom and the investigation is ongoing," the school district says.

The teacher's involvement in the podcast was initially reported by the HuffPost website.

In a statement from Volitich's attorney, the teacher did not deny operating the podcast, which she did under the Russian name Tiana Dalichov. But she maintained that she "employed political satire and exaggeration, mainly to the end of attracting listeners and followers, and generating conversation about the content discussed between myself and my guests."

Volitich, says the statements that she purportedly has white nationalist views don't "have any truth to them" and that she never injected her political beliefs into her classes.

"The views 'Tiana Dalichov' espouses do not pervade my professional career," she says. "As an adult, my decisions are my own, and my family has nothing whatsoever to do with my social media accounts or my podcast."

The educator ran the podcast and a related Twitter account — since taken down — that expressed racially charged messages and white nationalist views, HuffPost reported.

One tweet posted by @TianaDalichov said in February: "It isn't supremacist or hateful to prefer your own people over others."

In a Feb. 26 episode of the "Unapologetic" podcast, Volitich interviewed prominent white nationalist Lana Lokteff, a host of Red Ice TV, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a hate group. On the podcast, she said her principal had approached her about expressing her political views to students, and Volitich says she lied and said the parents' concerns were unfounded.

"And she believed me," Volitich said with a laugh.

The student population at Crystal River Middle School is nearly 90 percent white, according to federal data. The community is about 80 miles north of Tampa.

Volitich became certified to teach in Florida in July 2016. A former Pennsylvania resident, she graduated from Ohio State University in 2014.

Under her Dalichov pseudonym, she espoused her views online in recent months about school violence, politics and the challenges of teaching.

After last month's fatal shooting attack in Parkland, Florida, the account directed a tweet to Parkland survivor David Hogg to "stop acting like a toddler" and that "sometimes you don't always get what you want."

Last week, when a teacher fired a gun inside of a Georgia high school, Volitich uploaded a 37-minute video in which she appeared to suggest the incident may have been a conspiracy by a "lifetime liberal" teacher to prevent the arming of educators.

A mother of a student in Volitich's social studies class says her daughter recounted at least one troubling conversation.

"They were talking about segregation in a civil rights type of capacity, and the teacher somewhat alluded that segregation might possibly be OK in her opinion," said parent Meredith Bleakley.

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About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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