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Parents furious after teacher hands out cartoon comparing cops to KKK and slave owners

Parents of students at a high school in Westchester County, New York are furious this week after a teacher kicked off the school year by handing out a vile cartoon comparing police officers to slave owners and the Ku Klux Klan.

On September 8, the first day of the school year at Westlake High School, teacher Christoper Moreno handed. out a paper to his 11th grade students that included a five-frame cartoon panel. The first three frames of the cartoon depict slave owners and a member of the KKK with their knees on the backs of black men bound in shackles. In addition, the KKK member has a noose around the black man’s neck.

The final two panels then show a sheriff and a cop each with their knees on the neck of a black man in handcuffs. The black man is saying “I can’t breath,” which is what George Floyd said before he died in police custody back in May in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Parents were furious when they saw the anti-police cartoon.

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“My daughter showed me the paper. I said, `What is this?! You’ve got to be kidding me!’ ” said Westlake mom Ania Paternostro told The New York Post. “This cartoon compares the police to the KKK. It’s an attack on the police.”

The outraged mother went on to say that she immediately sent the cartoon to Mount Pleasant School District Superintendent Kurt Kotes and Westlake Principal Keith Schenker, whose school is in the district.

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“Enough is enough,” said Paternostro, a native of Poland. “This cartoon is disturbing. We have to respect the men in blue who protect us. We don’t need a teacher brainwashing my kids. I’ll teach my kids about what’s right and what’s wrong.”

Paternostro’s daughter Nicole was disturbed by her teacher’s cartoon as well.

“The cartoon was disgusting,’’ the teenager said. “It compared the police with all the terrible people in history. It was not fair. It wasn’t right.’’

Nicole added that she’s been bullied by her peers and labelled a racist for reporting the cartoon.

Superintendent Notes responded by sending a letter to parents promising an “investigation” into the cartoon.

“I want to address an issue that I have recently been advised is of deep concern to many members of our community,’’ Kotes wrote. “Specifically, I have been advised that one of our High School teachers may have recently conducted a lesson that many have deemed to be highly controversial in the current climate.”

“I want to assure the community that the District will be conducting a thorough investigation to determine what exactly occurred in this particular classroom and what, if any, action is to be taken under the circumstances to appropriately address the matter,’’ he added. “Once the investigation has been completed we will follow up with the community to the extent necessary and legally appropriate.”

Members of the Westlake Police Department were understandably offended by the cartoon.

“It’s a smack in the face to law enforcement, it’s an absolutely a smear of the police,” said Steve Kardian, a retired Mt. Pleasant police officer and former New York city Department of Investigations prober.

Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican running for state senate in the district, spoke out to condemn the cartoon as well.

“Parents don’t send their children to school to learn to hate America and our police,” he said. “Our schools should be a place for the open exchange of ideas, not political indoctrination. The false narratives and brainwashing has to stop.”

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