Howard Zlokin, a white science teacher at William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City, said Floyd, who was killed by former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, was “not a hero,” yet “like a criminal,” according to video of the incident.
He was suspended from the high school and his job as an adjunct professor at Hudson County Community College, the New York Times reported.
“The actions that this teacher took are not representative of a district in the most diverse city in the country,” announced Mussab Ali, the president of the Jersey City Board of Education.
The district continued, "The school was in the process of taking statements from students today before proceeding with disciplinary actions, and then the second video surfaced. 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."
The high school class was in the midst of a debate about climate change after students had presented short research papers Wednesday when Zlotkin made the remarks.
"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, according to a recording of the class obtained by NBC4.
He shifted the discussion to the Black Lives Matter movement and Floyd.
"I hear people whining and crying about Black Lives Matter, but George Floyd was a f------ criminal, and he got arrested, and he got killed because he wouldn't comply, and the bottom line is we make him a f------ hero," Zlotkin is heard speaking in a recording.
He then assigned the four students who disputed his thoughts, including one of whom was black, to compose an essay on “why black lives should matter.”
Timmia Williams, 17, the black student, told her mother, and both of them reached school officials. She didn’t do the assignment.
The teacher brought it up the next day, stating, "I don't think you can make a case. You know what, Timmia? You're full of s--- too.”
In response to his suspension, Zlokin explained that the clip was a “very well-edited sound bite” and that he would “love one day to give my side of the story.”
Chauvin killed Floyd on May 25, 2020, when Minneapolis police officers attempted to apprehend him for allegedly using a fake $20 bill.
Meanwhile, A political campaign seeking to replace the Minneapolis Police Department proceeded with their effort on Friday as members delivered more than 20,000 petition signatures in support of the effort to the city clerk’s office.