A New Jersey high school teacher was suspended and placed on leave after exploding into a profanity-filled rant during a Zoom lesson in which he referred to George Floyd as a “f**king criminal.”
Howard Zlotkin, a landscape and design teacher at Dickinson High School, exploded into a rant during a lesson which started out on climate change, NBC New York reported.
“If you think I’m privileged then f**k you, because my daughter thinks I’m privileged and I don’t speak to her,” Zlotkin was heard saying during the Zoom session.
“I hear people whining and crying about Black Lives Matter, but George Floyd was a f**king criminal and he got arrested and he got killed because he wouldn’t comply and the bottom line is we make him a f**king hero,” Zlotkin stated.
TEACHER SUSPENDED: Dickinson High School teacher Howard Zlotkin was heard saying people are “whining and crying about #BlackLivesMatter,” amongst profanities directed towards #GeorgeFloyd. #NewJersey https://t.co/LIs7tY0klq
— News12CT (@News12CT) May 1, 2021
Zlotkin reportedly singled out four African-American girls in the lesson and stated that he wanted an essay from each of them, one of the students, 17-year-old Timmia Williams, told NBC New York.
“I don’t think you can make a case. You know what Timmia? You’re full of shit too,” Zlotkin said, cursing during another lesson upon Williams’ refusal to complete the essay. (RELATED: Here’s The Moment George Floyd’s Family Heard The Verdict)
“Who does that? Who would curse, I don’t even curse at my own daughter,” Williams’ mom, Margie Nieves, stated in an interview. “She was crying She came to me, tells me, ‘Mom why is it there’s a problem with my skin?”
“The comments that were made were very biased and he shouldn’t be having that kind of discussion with the children – that had nothing to do with the subject matter in the classroom,” Superintendent Franklin Walker said, according to NJ.com.
“The position that he put the children in certainly was a very uncomfortable one by doing and saying those kinds of things,” Walker added.
Zlotkin has also reportedly been suspended with pay from Hudson County Community College, where he taught as an adjunct professor, a college spokesperson told NJ.com.