New Jersey teacher curses at Black students, calls George Floyd ‘criminal’

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Gerren Keith Gaynor
·3 min read
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Dickinson High School teacher Howard Zlotkin targeted his Black students and used profanity as he complained about his ‘privilege’

A New Jersey teacher has been removed from the virtual classroom after going a profanity-laced rant against his students about race, Black Lives Matter and George Floyd.

Dickinson High School teacher Howard Zlotkin was instructing a lesson about climate change before the conversation turned to race, reports NBC New York. Zlotkin railed against those who perceived him to have white privilege, including his own daughter, telling them “f— you.”

Dickinson High School teacher Howard Zlotkin
Dickinson High School teacher Howard Zlotkin (Photo: NBC New York)

“If you think I’m privileged then f— you, because my daughter thinks I’m privileged and I don’t speak to her,” he said on Zoom, which was recorded by a student.

Read More: Virtual classes exposing teacher’s racist remarks and bias, experts say

Dickinson High School senior Timmia Williams, 17, said Zlotkin became more irate as he yelled and cursed at students.

“I hear people whining and crying about Black Lives Matter, but George Floyd was a f—–g criminal and he got arrested and he got killed because he wouldn’t comply and the bottom line is we make him a f—–g hero,” said Zlotkin. He specifically targeted four Black female students and demanded that they each write an essay.

Williams and her mother, Margie Nieves, said they contacted school officials but did not hear back from them until they contacted the news station.

“Who does that? Who would curse, I don’t even curse at my own daughter,” said Nieves.

The mother and daughter said they were shocked to see that Zlotkin had returned to class and yet again cursed at students. He also called out Williams who had refused to complete the essay he asked her and the other Black students to write.

“I don’t think you can make a case. You know what Timmia? You’re full of s–t too,” Zlotkin said during another recording of his remarks.

New Jersey mother Margie Nieves and her 17-year-old daughter Timmia Williams (Photo: NBC New York)
New Jersey mother Margie Nieves and her 17-year-old daughter Timmia Williams (Photo: NBC New York)

Nieves said her teenage daughter was left in tears after the virtual classroom incident. “She was crying. She came to me, tells me, ‘Mom why is it there’s a problem with my skin?'” she recalled.

When contacted by NBC New York, Dickinson High School officials said that Zlotkin was temporarily removed from the classroom and school as they look into the incident, but did not indicate if there would be any further discipline.

“The school was in the process of taking statements from students today before proceeding with disciplinary actions, and then the second video surfaced,” the school said in a statement. “The teacher will not have access to students or the school as we proceed. We are appalled by the statements, profanity, disrespect and treatment of students.”

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