An Arlington preschool teacher fired for making anti-Semitic comments online apologized Thursday, saying the posts were several years old and that she no longer holds the same views.
Nancy Salem, 21, was fired from Children's Courtyard after a website exposed several of her Twitter messages, including, "Kill the Jews."
"Several years ago, while still a teenager attending high school, I made some racist and anti-Semitic statements that I deeply regret and believe are not a reflection of the beliefs I hold today," Salem said in a statement. "I am truly sorry for the pain and hurt my words caused, especially to members of the Jewish faith."
Salem said she respects "the actions my employer took to address the concerns," noting that they were made years before she worked there.
The website, Canary Mission, claims it is a watchdog for hate speech but little is known about the group. No contact information is included on the website.
Canary Mission claimed Salem belonged to a pro-Palestinian student group at the University of Texas at Arlington whose members had also posted anti-Semitic comments on social media.
But a UTA spokeswoman said Salem was never enrolled as a student. In a statement, UTA said it condemns hate but welcomes free speech.
Here is Salem's full statement:
"Several years ago, while still a teenager attending high school, I made some racist and anti-Semitic statements that I deeply regret and believe are not a reflection of the beliefs I hold today. Furthermore, these statements were made at a time when I was not strong in my faith nor do they reflect the family values of inclusively and respect for all faiths that my parents have worked very hard to instill in us. As many people can relate, teenagers often get involved with individuals that influence their behaviors and not always for the better and I deeply regret having been influenced in such a way.
"That, however, does not excuse my actions and I am truly sorry for the pain and hurt my words caused, especially to members of the Jewish faith. As a Muslim American of Palestinian heritage, I am all too accustomed to being bullied and the target of hate speech so the fact that I made such statements is even more offensive because I should have known and acted with more compassion. Finally, even though these statements were made years prior to my employment at Children's Courtyard and I do not espouse such sentiments today, I take full responsibility for my past statements and respect the actions my employer took to address the concerns as a result. Thank you."