Texas Governor Greg Abbot is calling on a public school to fire a teacher for showing students a cartoon comparing police officers to slave owners and the Ku Klux Klan.
According to The Star Telegram, eighth-grade students at Cooper Junior High School in Dallas, were assigned the cartoon as part of a lesson on the Bill of Rights. The cartoon is made up of five panels with men from different periods of U.S. history kneeling on a Black man’s neck. The first image depicts a slave owner with his knee on an enslaved man, followed by a bounty hunter, Ku Klux Klan member, Jim Crow officer, and ending in a modern policeman. Over the course of the five frames, the Black figure manages to convey the phrase, “I can’t breathe.”
The assignment was intended to give students the opportunity to explore whether the right to protest and the right to free speech are as important today as they were in the past.
On August 23rd, Abbot shared the image on his Twitter, asking the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to “investigate and take action”. TEA oversees primary and secondary public education in the state of Texas.
“It’s the opposite of what must be taught. The teacher should be fired,” Abbott tweeted.
A teacher in a Texas public school comparing police officers to the KKK is beyond unacceptable.
It’s the opposite of what must be taught.
The teacher should be fired.
I’m asking the Texas Education Agency to investigate and take action. https://t.co/DsCdp4fFaB
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 23, 2020
According to The Star Telegram, more than one teacher was involved, but none have been publicly named. The school district is continuing to investigate.