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NJ professor suspended after Floyd’s profane comments to class

A New Jersey high school teacher was suspended for payment after profane comments to students in his class about George Floyd

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – A New Jersey high school teacher was suspended for payment after profane comments to students in his class about George Floyd, the man killed by a Minneapolis police officer.

A recording broadcast on WNBC-TV shows science professor Howard Zlotkin of Dickinson High School talking about Floyd and Black Lives Matter during what was supposed to be a discussion of climate change in a landscaping and design zoom class.

It was heard that Zlotkin, who is white, said that people are “complaining and crying about Black Lives Matter”, and then refers to Floyd as profanely as a “criminal” who “was arrested and killed because he did not obey. “Another bad word is heard as he claims that Floyd is being treated as a” hero “.

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The video and one made the next day also included profanity directed at a student and a vulgar gesture, WNBC reported. The student said that Zlotkin was angry when she and three other students challenged his position, and the four were instructed to write an essay on “why black lives should be important” – a task not given to other students.

Superintendent Franklin Walker told NJ.com that the language used was “unacceptable”. He said the district is investigating the situation and that the police have also been notified “because part of it may be on the same level as a hate crime”.

“The comments that were made were very biased and he shouldn’t have that kind of discussion with the kids – it had nothing to do with the classroom topic,” said Walker. “The position in which he put the children was certainly very uncomfortable in doing and saying that kind of thing.”

The teachers’ union declined to comment until they had more information, said union president Ron Greco.

Jersey City Public Schools said in a statement late on Thursday that the school had been receiving testimonials from students “before proceeding with disciplinary actions” until the video for the second day class appeared.

“The teacher will not have access to students or the school as we proceed,” said spokeswoman Norma Fernandez in a statement quoted on WNBC. “” We are shocked by the statements, swear words, disrespect and treatment of the students. “

Zlotkin, who has been at Dickinson High School for 20 years, has also been suspended for payment of his position as an adjunct professor at Hudson County Community College, NJ.com reported. Spokesperson Jennifer Christopher said “offensive and disparaging language” violates the college’s anti-harassment policy and professional conduct policy.

A message seeking comment was sent on Saturday to Zlotkin, who declined to comment to the New York Times, citing the investigation, but calling the footage a “nicely edited catchphrase” and said he “would love to give my side one day. of history. “

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