“I hear people whining and crying about Black Lives Matter, but George Floyd was a f—ing criminal and he got arrested and he got killed because he wouldn’t comply and the bottom line is we make him a f—ing hero.”
That’s Howard Zlotkin, a science teacher at Dickinson High School in Jersey City, speaking last week to his students during a Zoom classroom discussion on climate change. Zlotkin is white. Sixty percent of Dickinson High School students are Black or Hispanic. Zlotkin addressed his “remarks” towards four Black students in the class, including Timmia Williams.
The day of the incident, Timmia and her mother immediately contacted school officials and the School Board but got no response. The following day Zlotkin was back in class and, once again, cursed at students, saying, “”I don’t think you can make a case. You know what, Timmia? You’re full of shit too.”
He also said, “If you think I’m privileged then f–k you, because my daughter thinks I’m privileged and I don’t speak to her.”
One of the students sent the video to NBC News, which you can see here. The Jersey City Board of Education has suspended Zlotkin with pay. Superintendent Franklin Walker said police and the Division of Child Protection and Permanency are investigating, along with the district. Walker added, after Zlotkin’s daughter Aliya Jackson criticized her father’s behavior in a letter to the students, “he certainly has done right by his daughter for her to be as compassioned as this letter definitely demonstrates.”
Deputy Superintendent Norma Hernandez said, “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.”
Zlotkin has been a science teacher at Dickinson High School for 20 years. Last year his salary was $110,880.