A high school chemistry teacher from the Arlington Public School district in Virginia was just suspended after she dared to reference George Floyd in a question she posed on a test.
“George Floyd couldn’t breathe because a police officer put his _____ George’s neck,” the question reportedly stated, with the answer being “neon.” This was a reference to the fact that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin put his “knee on” the neck of Floyd before he died last May.
A screenshot of the question went viral on social media, with one student claiming that other students responded with “white silence.”
“There is no diversity in my school and apparently there was a bunch of white silence when this happened this morning,” one student commented online. “White students were making excuses or seemed ‘too tired to talk about it’ shame on those people that’s disgusting.”
District superintendent Francisco Duràn released a statement saying that administrators will be meeting with students from the class to help them process what happened.
“During a class presentation a teacher shared an example that showed significant racial insensitivity. It was unacceptable,” he said. “We will be meeting directly with the students in the class, and will work with all of our H-B Woodlawn students to process the incident. We will use all of the HBW and APS resources at our disposal to do so. Students should reach out to a trusted adult at HBW if they want to discuss this matter further. Our Student Services Team will be available for individual counseling (emails below) and students can reach out directly to me as well.”
A letter was sent to parents stating that the school district “does not tolerate any form of cultural or racial insensitivity.”
“We will be meeting directly with the students in the class, and will work with all of our H-B Woodlawn students to process the incident,” the letter added. “Our Student Services Team will be available for individual counseling and students can reach out directly to me as well.”