A Virginia chemistry teacher has been “relieved” of their duties after asking students to describe how George Floyd was killed.
According to The Washington Post, an unidentified chemistry teacher included a question in an assignment that read, “George Floyd couldn’t breathe because a police officer put his ____ George’s neck.”
The correct answer was “neon,” which is a chemical element. It’s not clear why the teacher used Floyd in the question.
Faculty became aware of the question after students complained.
Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia said the teacher has been “relieved of teaching duties pending an investigation.”
Superintendent Francisco Durán also sent the following message to staff and parents, “As part of a class exercise, an H-B Woodlawn [Secondary Program] teacher shared an example with students that showed significant racial insensitivity. The content referenced the killing of George Floyd in an unacceptable and senseless way, which hurt and alarmed our students, staff, families and the community.”
He added, “The reference showed extremely poor judgement and a blatant disregard for African American lives.”
The principal of H-B Woodlawn will meet with staff and students.
According to school data posted online, 4.4 percent Black and nearly 58 percent White,
On May 25, George Floyd died after Derek Chauvin pinned him down kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Two other officers helped while one stood by and watched. His death led to protests and demonstrations both in the United States and abroad shining a light on the injustices of Black men and women killed by law enforcement officers.
In June, Chauvin was charged with first degree murder, while the three other officers involved in Floyd's death — J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane — were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. All four officers were relieved from their positions at the Minneapolis Police Department.
All of the men are now out on bail. Chauvin is reportedly allowed to leave the state of Minnesota due to “safety concerns.” The trial for all four men is currently scheduled for March 2021. It's not yet determined if all four will be tried together, or separately.
BET has been covering every angle of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.
(Photo courtesy of Ben Crump Law)