On the same day Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes, a white teacher in north Texas apparently thought it would be funny to stage a photo of herself with her foot on the neck of a 10-year-old Black student. The Greenville Independent School District says the Lamar Elementary School employee was suspended Wednesday, the day after the photo appeared on Facebook, reports the Herald Banner. Superintendent Demetrus Liggins says it was "a very inappropriate photo and the optics obviously are terrible." In a letter to district parents, Liggins said there would be a thorough investigation and appropriate action would be taken.
The boy's mother says her sister posted the photo on Facebook and she wishes she hadn't shown it to anybody. She tells NBC 5 that the photo was staged after the teacher joked about putting her foot on the boy's neck if he didn't bring a signed paper back. "It was a joke between me, her and my son, and nobody knows the relationship that we have, except the three of us," says the mother, who has known the teacher for years. She says the teacher is a "good person" who doesn't deserve to have her life "destroyed" and she has reached out to the district to urge them not to fire her. Other relatives say the teacher should have known better. "With what’s going on in the world right now, that ain’t nothing to play about at all," the boy's uncle tells WFAA. (Read more Texas stories.)