A teacher at Lathrop High School in Alaska has been placed on leave after she told students that George Floyd would still be alive had he complied with police orders.
According to The Daily Mail, a parent posted a 15-minute video where a teacher called 'Ms. Gardner' said: "If George Floyd had at the beginning when they got him out of the car and went to put him in the police car, if he had just sidled into the car and slid in there and let them put his legs in, he would be alive today."
Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted last month of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter for the death of George Floyd in 2020.
The video began with 'Ms. Gardner' saying there have "been a lot of shootings with people of color. The reason why you don’t hear about it though is because it doesn’t fit that angry white male narrative." She then said, 'It’s not just crazy white men who do shootings,' before beginning a discussion of the officer-involved shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant. "It was a terrible thing for the girl to get shot," and added that Columbus, Ohio Police Officer Nicholas Reardon did not have a choice because she was going to stab someone.
She continued, "I agree that there needs to be some, I don’t want to say reform, I want to say training." The teacher then told the students they should comply with police officers even if they think they are being arrested without cause. "I’m an old white lady and if the cops came up to me and said ma’am, put your hands behind your back, you’re going to jail…I’m putting my hands behind my back."
The teacher also added that students would be fine in an interaction with police because they are 'dressed nicely' and 'don’t look like thugs' with 'pants around their knees.'
A woman named 'Liz' interjects at that point of the lesson, identified herself as a tutor and said she was not comfortable with the discussion. She said Police "should be trained to not kill people even if they don’t comply," and they ‘should be trained not to judge people on their skin color or how they dress.
A mother who identified herself as a woman of color who faced racism in the South, who appeared to be recording the lesson, chimed in that Ms. Gardner should be speaking about these topics because she is a white woman. "Some of the things that you are saying, I feel like you are very uneducated on and I don’t feel like you are able to address these things that are going on today."
Fairbanks North Star Borough School District officials told local outlet KUAC that they were notified about the conversation from a parent last week and that the teacher was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.