A Texas elementary school teacher took a photo of her foot on a black student’s neck and texted it to the young boy’s mother — drawing fury from administrators and the child’s father.
The Lamar Elementary teacher, whose identity has not been disclosed, wrote to the mother that she put her foot on her 10-year-old son’s neck over a delinquent assignment as a mock threat, to which the student replied, “I bet you won’t.”
The teacher had asked the boy to bring back an assignment with his mother’s signature.
“I didn’t think anything of it. It was ‘ha, ha,’ and I moved on,” the mother told NBC 5. “The picture then began to bother me a little bit, I showed it and my family got really upset about it.”
Her sister posted the picture to social media.
The child’s father, who gave his name as Shamell, told local station WFAA, “I didn’t like it from the moment I seen it.”
Greenville Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Demetrus Liggins apologized to parents in an email and promised that “appropriate action will be taken.”
Liggins told NBC 5, “My initial thought when seeing the photo was actually disgust and concern for the child in the picture. Again it’s completely unacceptable, it’s completely out of the norm for our community and expectation that we have here at Greenville ISD.”
According to WFAA, the photo was taken the same day that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in May 2020. Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes after attempting to detain him over a counterfeit $20 bill.
The boy’s uncle said the coincidence hurt.
“With what’s going on in the world right now, that ain’t nothing to play about at all. Whether he agreed to do it, she asked him to do it, it don’t even matter. He’s 10. He don’t know no better. She do, though,” he said.