NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – An altered picture of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck made by a Norman student prompted a school investigation Wednesday and sparked outrage from some people in the community.
The picture, which shows Floyd just minutes before he died as Chauvin kneeled down against the back of his neck, was altered to show a Norman North High School logo on Chauvin’s head and a Norman High School logo on Floyd’s head.
Norman Public Schools responded in a statement, but never mentioned who it was that made the altered image. They only mentioned that it was a social media post done by a student regarding the upcoming Crosstown Clash football game between the two high schools Thursday night. The school and onlookers alike called the post disrespectful.
“I was flabbergasted,” said the Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson with Black Lives Matter Oklahoma City. “It was painful.”
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. However, this altered one posted by the student brought out a lot of emotions for Dickerson, among others.
“I was astonished,” she said.
The district’s full statement can be read below:
“Yesterday we were made aware of a disturbing social media post from a student regarding the upcoming Crosstown Clash football game. The insensitive nature of the post and the underlying message are completely inappropriate and unacceptable. School administration is investigating this matter and will handle the situation in accordance with district policy.”
NORMAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“To see that image exploited and manufactured in such a way, I’m very disappointed, and I don’t want to be [disappointed] in our young people,” Dickerson said.
Dickerson said she understands mistakes are made at a young age. She said she believes young people are usually empathetic and aware of what’s going on.
“This was definitely a different level in my opinion,” she said.
However, she still called it unacceptable. She also pointed to adults and other leadership in these situations.
“We’re not doing a very good job,” she said. “We see a lot of the same type of pervasive and inappropriate actions from our adults.”
According to Dickerson, it shouldn’t just be the African American community that takes offense to the photo.
“I think every person, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious background or even how they politically identify, should be offended, hurt,” Dickerson said. “I’m hoping that it is a learning moment and that we don’t see it repeated.”
The district is also investigating a recording of a middle school teacher allegedly telling kids they must choose between being Christian and supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Their full statement on that is as follows:
“A recording of a Longfellow Middle School teacher was brought to our attention yesterday. The remarks heard in the recording are completely inappropriate and have no place in our classrooms. NPS is investigating the incident and will handle this personnel issue in accordance with district policy.”
NORMAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS