New Jersey’s Dickinson High School teacher, Howard Zlotkin, was removed from his teaching position and placed on a paid suspension after a lecture on global warming turned into a derogatory and explosive tirade about race and the Black Lives Matter movement in America. Zlotkin’s profanity-laden comments such as: “I hear people whining and crying about Black Lives Matter, but George Floyd was a f*****g criminal, and he got arrested, and he got killed because he wouldn’t comply, and the bottom line is we make him a f*****g hero,” shocked his landscape and design students and their parents. Howard Zlotkin’s tangent quickly gained momentum and he began to disclose his own private personal information regarding a family dispute,”If you think I’m privileged, then f*** you, because my daughter thinks I’m privileged, and I don’t speak to her,” said Howard. Zlotkin’s fate was officially sealed when he crossed the line and his rant turned abusive towards individual students, at that juncture Jersey City Public School District intervened and immediately discharged Howard Zlotkin from his role.

Zlotkin was seen on the Zoom video recording cursing directly at the students in his class and, at one point, as his emotions escalated he held up his middle finger to the entire class and screamed “F*** you!” 17-year-old Timmia Williams, one of Zlotkin’s students, stated that he targeted the black female students and asked them to complete undefined essays. After Williams refused to do the assigned essay, Howard verbally attacked her,“I don’t think you can make a case,’ Zlotkin said. ‘You know what, Timmia? You’re full of s**t, too,” he exclaimed during the recorded online class. Timmia Williams and her mother were horrified by the events that took place during the class and reached out to the school officials and the board of education in an attempt to report the issue but, initially, they were not responded to and proceeded, instead, to contact a local news station.

The school district is taking a zero-tolerance approach to this controversial occurrence. In a statement to the press, the school district addressed their stance on the matter and the intended action plan: “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.” Superintendent Franklin called Howard Zlotkin’s conduct “unacceptable.” “We know it affected them some type of way,” Walker said. “If this is the way this [teacher] feels, then it means that there are other things that certainly may have gone on, things that were said to address what his personal feelings are, which have no place in the classroom with our children,” says Walker.