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US New Jersey teacher suspended after calling George Floyd a 'criminal' during profanity-filled rant

20:25  04 may  2021
20:25  04 may  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

A New Jersey high school teacher is filmed referring to George Floyd as a 'criminal' and cursing at students

  A New Jersey high school teacher is filmed referring to George Floyd as a 'criminal' and cursing at students A New Jersey high school teacher has been suspended with pay after launching into a rant during two virtual classes in which he allegedly called George Floyd a "criminal" and used profanity against his students. © courtesy timmia williams In this screengrab from a video filmed by one of his students, Jersey City science teacher Howard Zlotkin told said student she was "full of s**t" and couldn't defend the Black Lives Matter movement.

A New Jersey high school teacher has been suspended after he was recorded calling George Floyd a criminal in a profanity-filled rant during class, school officials said.

Video shows Howard Zlotkin, a teacher at William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City, railed against Black Lives Matter and Floyd during an online class on April 28. .

"I hear people whining and crying about Black Lives Matter but George Floyd was a (expletive) criminal that was being arrested," Zlotkin, who is white, said in video obtained by WNBC-TV.

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Zlotkin told the high school students that Floyd was killed "because he wouldn't comply with police" and that didn't make him a hero, according to WNBC.

Zlotkin was suspended without pay, and information about the incident was sent to the Jersey City Public Schools District legal department, according to a statement provided to USA TODAY by deputy superintendent Norma Fernandez.

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"The District is appalled at the teacher's unbecoming behavior and unprofessional outburst," according to the statement. "His views do not represent the Jersey City Public School District's focus on equity and the embrace of diversity."

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Zlotkin was also suspended pending an investigation at Hudson County Community College, where he is an adjunct professor. In a statement, the college called Zlotkin's comments "offensive and derogatory" and said his behavior violated the school's anti-harassment policy.

Zlotkin told the New York Times that he could not comment in detail due to the investigation but that he would "love one day to give my side of the story," calling the footage a "very well-edited sound bite."

Timmia Williams, one of the students in the class, told WNBC that Zlotkin appeared to target Black students during his rant and that Zlotkin assigned an essay to four Black students.

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The New York Times reported that the students were assigned to write about “why Black lives should matter" for Zlotkin's landscape and design class.

In class the next day, Zlotkin expressed anger over Williams refusing to write the essay.

"You know what, Timmia, don't worry about it," Zlotkin said in a second video obtained by WNBC. "You're full of (expletive), too."

Williams' mother told the station that her daughter cried about the incident.

"She came to me, tells me, 'Mom why is it there's a problem with my skin?'" Williams' mother told WNBC.

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Mussab Ali, the Jersey City Board of Education president, announced on Facebook that Zlotkin was suspended amid an ongoing investigation.

"The comments made by this individual are not representative of our district or our city," Ali said in a Facebook post on Friday, noting the board passed a resolution last June declaring racism a public health crisis following the murder of George Floyd.

Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New Jersey teacher suspended after calling George Floyd a 'criminal' during profanity-filled rant

Minnesota AG asks for severe sentence for Derek Chauvin .
Minnesota’s attorney general has requested a severe sentence for former police officer Derek Chauvin for acting with “particular cruelty” in George Floyd’s killing. State Attorney General Keith Ellison asked Judge Peter Cahill to hand down a harsher sentence based on "five aggravating factors" that "support an upward sentencing departure," in a legal brief filed Friday.

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