A Texas teacher accused of staging a photo with a foot on the neck of a Black student is under investigation, officials say.
Greenville Independent School District called the photo “highly upsetting” and promised the incident will be “thoroughly investigated” in a letter to parents and employees.
“Upon learning about this, we immediately contacted the family to check on the student to ensure his well-being,” Superintendent Demetrus Liggins wrote in the letter. “We will continue to be in touch with the family to be sure the student feels comfortable and safe on campus.”
A spokesperson says the district learned of the photo after it was posted to social media on Tuesday — the day former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, a Black man. Chauvin had pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes last May.
“Our human resources department immediately contacted the employee who staged the picture,” the superintendent’s letter said. “We take this situation very seriously. It will be thoroughly investigated, and appropriate action will be taken.”
The school district did not name the school where the teacher works.
“We have heard from many community members, and we understand their concern and anger,” the letter said. “Greenville ISD embraces diversity and believes in the importance of treating all people with respect and dignity.”
The school district of about 5,400 students is located northeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.