Alaska teacher tells high school students George Floyd 'would still be alive' if he listened to cops, suspended
The teacher, identified as Ms Gardner, is heard telling the students that Black people who were shot by police would not have been hurt had they listened to the police
A teacher from Alaska was captured on camera telling students in a Zoom class that George Floyd would "still have been alive" had he listened to the police and gotten into the cop car. The 15-minute video was posted by a parent on YouTube and shows the teacher, referred to as 'Ms Gardner', speaking to her students. She is heard telling the students that Black people who were shot by police would not have been hurt had they listened to the police.
The teacher at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks is heard saying, "If George Floyd had at the beginning when they got him out of the car and went to put him in the police car, if he had just sidled into the car and slid in there and let them put his legs in, he would be alive today." She added: "You know that's true."
Following the parent uploading the video, Fairbanks North Star Borough School District sent out a letter to parents informing them that the teacher had been placed on leave until investigations into the incident was completed. The officials refused to name the teacher.
However, according to a Daily Mail report, which quoted the school's website as the source of information, only one teacher in the school has the surname of Gardner - high school special education teacher Connie Gardner.
In the video, the teacher begins with how there have "been a lot of shootings with people of color. The reason why you don't hear about it though is because it doesn't fit that angry White male narrative."
She then says, "It's not just crazy White men who do shootings," hinting at the Ma'khia Bryant shooting, where a young Ohio girl was shot by a cop who attempted to break down a tense situation where she had a knife in her hand.
Speaking of this, Gardner said, "It was a terrible thing for the girl to get shot." However, she indicated how the police officer involved in the case, officer Nicholas Reardon, at the time did not have a choice as Bryant was allegedly getting ready to stab another victim. She then said police do not "have time to choose between their gun and taser", probably referencing to the shooting of Daunte Wright by a cop who mistook her gun for a taser.
It is not clear from the video why the teacher started this conversation, however, she is heard saying, "I agree that there needs to be some, I don't want to say reform, I want to say training."
She then told the students to listen to the police even if they believe that they were being unjustly detained or arrested. She said, "I’m an old White lady and if the cops came up to me and said ma’am, put your hands behind your back, you’re going to jail…I’m putting my hands behind my back."
She further explained that she would also reveal to the cops that she had a gun in her ankle for which she had the necessary legal permits. She also insinuated that the students in the school would not have a problem at all because they were "dressed nicely" and "don't look like thugs" with their "pants around their knees". It was at this moment, a woman who identified herself as 'Liz', interrupts the Zoom call to say that she is a tutor of some of the students on the call. She also said that she was uncomfortable with the conversation that took place.
Liz then tells Ms Gardner that she's a woman of color who faced racism growing up in the South. She then added, "Some of the things that you are saying, I feel like you are very uneducated on and I don't feel like you are able to address these things that are going on today."
At this point, the mother adds "You should stop this conversation - period." At this point, she seems to have been muted.