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Rhode Island teaching assistant fired after telling man to 'go back to Mexico'

A Rhode Island teaching assistant, Kerry Thibault, has lost her job after a video that showed her telling a man to “go back to Mexico” went viral.

The video of her tirade was first posted to Facebook by Rosa Andrade, a Pawtucket, R.I., resident. Andrade explained in a separate post that the man in the video is her son, and that another bystander recorded the interaction.

“If she did this to him I’m sure she has done it to others or will do it to someone else in the future,” Andrade wrote. “This woman needs to be stopped.”

Andrade added that the incident took place in Lincoln, R.I., at the Twin River Casino Hotel. The casino didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo’s request for comment.
In addition to telling the man to “go back to Mexico,” Thibault can be seen hitting him in the video. She also calls him “Brazilian” at one point and flashes the middle finger.
The Associated Press reports that Thibault worked at an elementary school in Warwick, R.I., but had been on sick leave at the time of the incident. In a statement to the AP, Philip Thornton, superintendent of Warwick Public Schools, called the video “deeply disturbing.”
The AP reports that Thibault “declined to say what the argument was about,” but she is quoted in the Providence Journal as saying, “I am not racist because I teach about Martin Luther King.”
Her employers disagreed. The Warwick School Committee made a unanimous decision to dismiss Thibault from her post at Hoxsie Elementary School, according to the Journal.
“Looking at Ms. Thibault’s behaviors in this video and on social media, with the violence and racist remarks, I do believe she should not work with children,” Thornton told the newspaper on Friday. “The recommendation to terminate was, I believe, the right recommendation.”

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