Gov. Abbott calls for firing of Dallas teacher over assignment comparing police, KKK

An assignment from a Wylie Independent School District social studies teacher in Dallas seemed to compare police officers to the Ku Klux Klan, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants the teacher fired because of it.

Fraternal Order of Police vice president Joe Galmadi brought attention to the eighth grade class assignment via Twitter last Thursday. He tweeted a cartoon collage that shows men dressed as police officers, slave owners and members of the KKK, holding their knees on a Black man’s neck as he struggles to say the words “I can’t breathe.”

It’s clearly in reference to George Floyd, who grew up in Houston’s Third Ward before dying in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day. Former police officer Derek Chauvin was captured on video kneeling in his neck for nearly nine minutes, prompting murder charges against himself and three other officers who failed to step in.

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“This is abhorrent and disgusting, and only further widens the gap between police officers and the youth in our community,” Gamaldi said.

By Aug. 23, the tweet had caught the attention of Gov. Abbott, who called it beyond unacceptable.

“It’s the opposite of what must be taught,” he said, quote tweeting the original post. “The teacher should be fired.”

The governor ended his tweet by saying that he was asking the Texas Education Agency to “investigate and take action.”

Gamaldi eventually acknowledged that the district apologized and pulled the assignment, and would also be issuing a direct apology to parents. CBS’ Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate reported that in an email to parents, the school principal said “teachers wanted to provide the students with current events to analyze the Bill of Rights.”

And while some parents felt the lesson sparked a difficult conversation that needed to be had, all of the backlash, of course, still isn’t a good look.

What do you think? Was the teacher out of line for the assignment?


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