The Citrus County School District has removed social studies teacher Dayanna Volitich from the classroom following reports she has been secretly operating a white supremacist podcast -- and sharing some of those views with students.
The Crystal River middle school teacher seemingly had a double-life with her long-running podcast initially going unknown by School Board officials.
Concerns over Volitich influencing students is well-founded, it appears. It was discovered the educator has been hostess of a show entitled “Unapologetic,” during which she broadcasts under the name of Tiana Dalichov.
The Huffington Post made the connection after an extensive review of the program and its social media accounts, in which Volitich actually used her own picture. (Those accounts have since been taken down.)
School Superintendent Sandra Himmel announced in a statement earlier this week, “On Friday, March 2, 2018, the Citrus County School District was made aware [by a HuffPost reporter] of a concerning podcast,” she said. “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.”
Volitich admits in a responding statement through her attorney that she was the one speaking as Dalichov on the podcast, but claimed her comments were "political satire and exaggeration" and the persona was a "hobby."
"None of the statements released about my being a white nationalist or white supremacist have any truth to them, nor are my political beliefs injected into my teaching of social studies curriculum," she said in the statement.
Despite her insistence that spoken content on her show was not reflective of anything she taught in the classroom, as HuffPo discovered, the teacher actually spoke at length about the subversive ways she would see that her worldview would find its way into her teaching.
A District spokesman stated, “We will be looking into the statements she made, checking the validity to see if they violate our code of ethics and policy."
Through her lawyer, Volitich attempts to distance herself and her career from the alter ego she portrayed on the podcast. Her hope is that the deniability becomes plausible. “The views ‘Tiana Dalichov’ espouses do not pervade my professional career," she said. "As an adult, my decisions are my own, and my family has nothing whatsoever to do with my social media accounts or my podcast.
"From them, I humbly ask for forgiveness, as it was never my intention to cause them grief while engaging in a hobby on my personal time.”
However, as HuffPost notes after listening to some of her broadcasts, Volitich/Dalichov frequently referenced herself as being a teacher, and that she would subversively include her views in the classroom. At one point she reportedly stated parents had once complained about her political viewpoints in the classroom, but she convinced the principal it was baseless.
In another segment a guest on her show declares that more supremacists need to be covert and start infiltrating learning institutions. “Right,” said Volitich, “I’m absolutely one of them.” Their conversation extended to teaching white nationalism to children, and even the prospect of having private schools where such a curriculum could be taught.
In the wake of the revelation, Volitich has taken down most, if not all of her social media accounts. Her Twitter account has been erased, and her broadcast episodes were also scrubbed from the Web -- a curious decision if, some observers have said, if her show was merely satirical and had no influence on her career.
As a spokesman for the Citrus County School District stated, “She does not speak on behalf of the Citrus County School District. The views she’s listed [online] are really not in line with how our District operates."
Brad Slager is a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer who wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the entertainment industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.