Video After The Jump
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 61-year-old teacher at William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City, railed against Black Lives Matter and Floyd during an online landscapingclass 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.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was recently convicted of Floyd's murder, which set off months of protests worldwide calling for an end to police brutality last year. Floyd, who was Black, died last year after Chauvin pressed his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes.
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 on April 29, 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. Zlotkin has been teaching in the school district for 21 years.
"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."
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.
Source: USA Today