One Texas elementary school teacher found out the hard way that it was too soon to joke about George Floyd’s death after taking a photo of her foot on a black student’s neck.
The unidentified teacher at Lamar Elementary in Greenville, Texas was reported to have “staged” the photo as a joke with a 10-year-old student after he didn’t turn in an assignment.
After texting the photo to the student’s mom, the teacher was immediately put on administrative leave by the district. The Board of Trustees was set to meet on April 27 to decide if she should be fired.
Though the actions were criticized as disgraceful, the teacher will have no chance for redemption as she has become the latest victim of self censuring for the misstep as she resigned on Friday, just a few days before the Board was scheduled to meet.
The incident occurred the same day that Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted on all counts in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin placed his foot on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes during last year’s arrest, leading to Floyd’s death.
Local reporters with WFAA spoke to the child’s father who said, “I didn’t like it at all.” He said he was “very mad about the situation, very mad about it.”
The mother on the other hand was “more forgiving.” Although she didn’t appear on camera, she showed the photo to reporters and said, “[she] didn’t think anything of it.” The mom had known the teacher for years and didn’t think there was any mal-intent behind the photo.
The boy’s uncle chimed in and expressed his fury about the incident, “With what’s going on in the world right now that ain’t nothing to play about at all.” He continued, “whether he agreed to do it, she asked him to do it, it don’t even matter. He’s 10. He don’t know no better. She do though.”
The school district superintendent, Dr. Demetrus Liggins of the Greenville Independent School District expressed his disgust and said in an interview that the “investigation will be thorough and quick.” He continued, reassuring the public, “that picture does not define our teachers, it does not define the way we treat our students, and what the expectation is throughout the district.”
The teacher did not respond to reporters requests to be interviewed.
The district reached out to the child’s parents as soon as they learned about the photo the day it was taken. The superintendent also issued a letter of apology after becoming aware of the photo.
The reactions on Twitter were unsurprisingly of outrage. But despite the mother’s forgiving reaction, no tweets could immediately be found expressing forgiveness for the teacher.
This is so wrong.
— richard lalbeharry (@blackscorp1) April 24, 2021
I dare someone to try this on my child
— Militant13 (@milli_ace) April 24, 2021
How could you be someone who is in charge of teaching/mentoring young minds and think this is acceptable?
— Ryan Nevrivy (@RMNev21) April 24, 2021
Wow, how could you possibly think that was a good idea?! That is an impressively low awareness move that wouldn’t have worked if the kid was any other race either😂
— I hear you…but (@alextreme2020) April 24, 2021
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