The boy’s mother, who chose to remain anonymous, told reporters the photo was a “joke” about a signed permission slip. The teacher apparently told the child to bring in the slip, or she would put her foot on his neck.
“I didn’t think anything of it. It was ‘Ha, ha,’ and I moved on,” the boy’s mother said. “The picture then began to bother me a little bit; [I] showed it and my family got really upset about it.”
According to the boy’s mother, the teacher told her son, “Make sure you bring this paper back or I’m going to get on to you, and your mama told me to get on to you if I need to.” The teacher also told the child, “I’m going to put my foot on your neck” and the student laughed and said, “I bet you won’t.”
In class, another student reportedly encouraged the boy to lay on the ground and “that’s when I guess she put her foot on there,” his mother said. “Again, like I said, I don’t think there was any harm intended. There was no bad intentions and regardless of what anybody says I’m going to stand on that,” she added.
The incident occurred on the same day that Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
“I didn’t like it from the moment I seen it,” the boy’s father Shamell said. “I don’t really understand the whole situation, but all I know is it was never supposed to happen.”
The child’s uncle added, “With what’s going on in the world right now, that ain’t nothing to play about at all. Whether he agreed to do it, she asked him to do it; it don’t even matter. He’s 10. He don’t know no better. She do though.”
The Greenville Independent School District is investigating the incident and the teacher has reportedly been placed on leave. District Superintendent Dr. Demetrus Liggins apologized to the family in a letter, where he noted that swift action would be taken.
“My initial reaction was disgust,” Liggins said of the photo. “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.”
“We’re a community that truly embraces and respects each other, our differences and celebrate the many cultures that exist here,” the letter added. “We will continue to be in touch with the family to be sure the student feels comfortable and safe on campus.”
See the disturbing photo below.