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Texas Teacher Resigns After Sending Photo of Her Foot on Black Student’s Neck to the Child’s Mother as a Joke

A white Texas teacher has resigned after she took a picture of her foot on the neck of a Black student and then sent the picture to the child’s mother.

The Lamar Elementary School teacher, who has not been identified, apparently was friends with 10-year-old Zaelyn Jackson’s mother and said the photo was sent as a joke. Still, Jackson’s family found nothing humorous about the text message they said was sent moments after a guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin case. The former Minneapolis police offer was convicted of murdering an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, after kneeling on his neck for nearly 10 minutes in May 2020.

Newsweek reported that the teacher told Jackson and his friends that if the young boy didn’t stop misbehaving, she would put her foot on his neck. The students said she would not, and that’s when Jackson got on the floor and the photo was taken.

A teacher in a Texas elementary school placing her foot on a 10-year-old black male student. (Photo: WFAA screenshot)

Jackson told CBS DFW that he believed what his teacher was doing was a joke, telling the outlet, “She didn’t put pressure on it or anything.” His mother shared similar sentiments saying she knew the teacher for years and doubted the photo was sent with any malicious intent. 

Meanwhile, the boy’s aunt, Lakadren Jackson, shared the photo on Facebook, calling it “unacceptable.” She added, “Under no circumstances should this have happened. This is my nephew and his teacher, and she thought it would be funny to do some sh-t like this.” Jackson’s father, Shamell, said, “I don’t really understand the whole situation, but all I know is it was never suppose to happen.”  

The school district confirmed that the photo was authentic but called it “staged.” They also revealed they “immediately contact the family to check on the student to ensure his well-being.” On Tuesday, April 20, parents in the distant Dallas suburb received a letter from Greenville Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Demetrus Liggins stating that the incident would be investigated. 

“I was highly disgusted by it without having any additional information,” he explained. “That is not who we are. That picture does not define our teachers. It does not define the way we treat our students and what the expectation is throughout our district.”

He added, “After a year of lots of trials and challenges due to the pandemic, to have this occur on the day that it occurred, the optics again were just not good at all regardless of the intentions.” 

Trustees were set to discuss the teacher termination during their weekly meeting after learning of the incident. However, she resigned before they could do so. Superintendent Liggins said in a statement, “We deeply regret the distress this incident has caused, and I am accepting the teacher’s resignation.”

Liggins revealed that the incident would also be reported to the State Board for Educator Certification to determine if any further action is necessary regarding the employee’s teaching certificate.

“In Greenville ISD, we strongly believe that all individuals, especially the students entrusted to our care, must be treated with dignity and respect,” Liggins said. “We will address the seriousness of these activities with our entire staff. We will also develop strategies to address future staff training.”

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