Dayanna Volitich, the Crystal River, Fla., middle school social studies teacher who was recently accused by HuffPost of hosting a white nationalist podcast, has confirmed that the podcast is hers. However, Volitich, who ran the show under the pseudonym “Tiana Dalichov,” claims that the whole thing was satire.
WFLA-TV, an ABC News affiliate, published a statement it says was provided to the station on Volitich’s behalf. It reads:
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. While operating under the Russian pseudonym “Tiana Dalichov” on social media and the Unapologetic Podcast, I 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. The views “Tiana Dalichov” espouses do not pervade my professional career. 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. All future questions about the current situation should be directed to my attorney. I cannot comment further, due to the ongoing school board investigation.
Volitich, on top of hosting the podcast, also ran a Twitter and Goodreads account under the Dalichov pseudonym and, according to WFTS-TV, appears to have contributed to “alt-right” websites like Halsey News under that name as well.
Which is to say, Volitich developed an entire brand out of her Dalichov alias—a hell of a commitment to satire.
Here’s a (nonexhaustive and incomplete) recap of Volitich’s satirical hot takes and anecdotes, all of which are things she either directly tweeted or stated on her podcast:
- Emphatically agreed with a guest who dismissed the idea that a kid from Nigeria and a kid from Sweden could “learn the same” and have the “same IQ.”
- Argued that science proves certain races are more intelligent than others.
- Recounted a story about her principal following up with her about a parent complaint that she had injected political bias into her teaching.
- Admitted she had lied to the principal and said the claim “wasn’t true.”
- Tweeted that America’s education system “is designed to enable victimization when teachers are forced to learn about institutional racism.”
- Agreed with a guest that white supremacists need to infiltrate schools and become teachers and said, “I’m absolutely one of them.”
- Tweeted that terrorism will continue unless Muslims are “eradicated from the face of the earth.”
- Said on her podcast that she had put on a “dog and pony” show for administrators, telling her students that when administrators showed up, “I’m going to be different than I usually am. I just don’t want you to be shocked, I want you to play along.”
- Tweeted that the “Jewish Question,” or “JQ,” an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, was “incredibly complex.”
- Started a “white privilege challenge,” asking people to write in examples to prove white privilege is real, with a $100 reward.
Volitich now seems to claim that all of that was simply political “satire and exaggeration” to attract listeners and followers. Like Stephen Colbert, supposedly, but without the humor or wit. More than that, Volitich says that the views espoused under her pseudonym, an alias that she was comfortable accompanying with an actual photo of herself, have not been injected into her personal career—despite her own repeated accounts.
So it’s Tiana Dalichov who’s a liar and not Volitich. What a joke indeed.
The Citrus County School District confirmed Sunday that it had removed Volitich from the classroom as it investigates the “concerning podcast.” The district also wrote that because it was an open investigation, it could not discuss it or materials related to it until the process was complete.