Reporter's Twitter question leads to leave for Little Rock teacher and a police report | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Reporter's Twitter question leads to leave for Little Rock teacher and a police report

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 11:06 AM

TWITTER TOPPER: Post at top of Twitter page of teacher at McClellan.
  • TWITTER TOPPER: Post at top of Twitter page of teacher at McClellan.

The Little Rock School District has put a McClellan High School coach, Lance Fritchman,  on administrative leave following questions about his social media activity, an event that apparently led to a dispute with a KARK/Fox 16 reporter.

The teacher's Twitter account includes Tweets generally supportive of Donald Trump and deportation of undocumented immigrants. They also included remarks supportive of a White History Month and a thought about the women's march on Washington following Donald Trump's election. A sample:

click to enlarge fritchwhite.jpg
click to enlarge fritchimmigrants.jpg
click to enlarge fritchwomen.jpg
click to enlarge fritchtrump.jpg
Fritchman is entitled to all these opinions, of course. Good judgment? You decide. He teaches at a school with a student body made up almost entirely of African-American and Latino children.

KARK reporter Mitch McCoy inquired about school district policy on teacher use of social media last week and LRSD apparently put Fritchman, 52, on leave Friday.

CORRECTION: I originally characterized  the personnel action as  a "suspension." Fritchman said in a telephone conversation Thursday that's a more serious action that wouldn't be accompanied by pay, so I've corrected the reference to follow that used by the district.

The School District issued this statement to me yesterday

This statement serves as a response to your questions about the social media activity for LRSD employee Lance Fritchman. When such matters are brought to our attention, we take them seriously, review them promptly, and follow appropriate protocols. Mr. Fritchman has been placed on paid administrative leave pending a more thorough review of the matter, as is customary per LRSD policies. Because this is a personnel matter, we will not be able to provide any additional comments at this time.
Monday, Fritchman went to see the KARK reporter.

According to a police report,  the police responded Monday morning to the parking garage of the Victory Building at Capitol and Woodlane, where the KARK/Fox 16 studios are located. Fritchman told police he went to the building because he believed KARK reporter Mitch McCoy caused his suspension.

From the report:

Fritchman began attempting to make contact via phone at 7 a.m. until 10:37 when officer made this report. Fritchman left several message[s] telling McCoy "come out and let's handle this man to man." Fritchman was vocally aggressive while speaking with officer and on the voice mails. McCoy advised he felt threatened by the voice mail and a word Fritchman used 'efforting' — according to the Urban Dictionary meaning 'mouth punch.' Fritchman was advised any further correspondence needed to be handled through LRSD. Fritchman was advised not to call any more due to this being documented as harassing.
The report said Fritchman should not return to 1401 W. Capitol or he'd be arrested for trespassing. The report said an officer returned at 12:03 p.m., but "the subject (possibly Fritchman) had left."

I sent a Twitter message to the Lance Fritchman Twitter account yesterday asking if the account was real. The response is shown here.

click to enlarge screen_shot_2018-03-06_at_7.08.18_am.png

After I asked him to call to talk about the incident, he responded further:

click to enlarge fritch2.jpg

He has not responded to a message I left on his phone, but I have told him via Twitter that I'd meet him in person to talk.

  • Pulaski County sheriff
UPDATE: He perhaps hasn't returned a call because he was arrested this morning on a criminal trespass charge related to his visit to KARK.

UPDATE II: We talked by phone at length Thursday. He can't talk about circumstances of the case. He thinks, generally, that his Twitter activity shouldn't have been newsworthy.

Tags: , , , , ,


Comments (61)

Showing 1-50 of 61

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-50 of 61

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • When Sarah Sanders joined hands with the ACLU

    Pro Publica has a good retelling of a story familiar to most Arkansans — when OBU student Sarah Huckabee linked up with the ACLU to successfully challenge a Democrat's effort to discourage college student voting in Arkadelphia.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • Wednesday's headlines and the open line

    Medicaid, guns, Satan and racism are covered in today's news roundup. Here's your open line.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • Hutchinson says most gun safety ideas are 'non-starters'

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson was asked today about recent reporting on the high rate of gun deaths in Arkansas and he made it clear he has little enthusiasm for most ideas on gun safety legislation.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation