A New Jersey high school teacher was removed and faces firing after launching into an expletive-laden rant at his students during a Zoom session.
At one point during the rant, Howard Zlotkin called George Floyd a “f—ing criminal.” Floyd was killed while police were attempting to arrest him on May 25, 2020. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of Floyd’s murder last week.
NBC New York reported that Zlotkin’s classroom discussion originally focused on climate change but somehow devolved into the vulgar rant. Zlotkin taught landscape and design at Dickinson High School.
“If you think I’m privileged then f— you, because my daughter thinks I’m privileged and I don’t speak to her,” he said in a recording of the incident.
“I hear people whining and crying about Black Lives Matter, but George Floyd was a f—–g criminal and he got arrested and he got killed because he wouldn’t comply and the bottom line is we make him a f—–g hero,” Zlotkin says in the recording.
One student claimed the rant was aimed particularly at black students, during which Zlotkin told four black female students to write an essay for him. That student and her mother contacted the board of education but heard nothing from them until after NBC New York was informed of the situation. Zlotkin returned to the classroom a few days later and again cursed at students, targeting the complaining student for not completing the essay.
The student’s mother told the outlet her 17-year-old daughter cried over the incident and asked: “Mom why is it there’s a problem with my skin?”
On the same day Zlotkin returned to teaching, the school district released a statement saying he had been removed.
“The school was in the process of taking statements from students today before proceeding with disciplinary actions, and then the second video surfaced. The teacher will not have access to students or the school as we proceed. We are appalled by the statements, profanity, disrespect and treatment of students,” the district said in a statement.
NBC News reported Friday that Zlotkin told the outlet “he could not comment until he speaks with a union attorney.”
Zlotkin is the latest teacher fired for political comments. In late March, a Catholic high school teacher was terminated for saying George Floyd’s cause of death was disputed, The Daily Wire’s Chrissy Clark reported. The teacher, Deborah DelPrince of Bishop Ready High School, can be heard on video “condemning Lebron James for wearing a shirt saying ‘I Can’t Breathe,’ the final words reportedly uttered by George Floyd before he fell unconscious.”
“That’s just not true,” DelPrince said of James’ shirt. “It perpetuates a myth against police. I’m not sure Lebron James is in the position to be disrespectful to police officers, primarily because he probably doesn’t go anywhere without a bodyguard.”
When a student asked if DelPrince was suggesting Floyd’s cause of death was disputed, DelPrince responded “Yes, it is disputed.”
A teacher in Michigan was fired in the summer of 2020 after tweeting “Donald Trump is our president.”
Neither DelPrince nor the Michigan teacher went on expletive-laden rants against their students.
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