Teacher under fire for assignment saying George Floyd's death was not caused by police

A New York high school teacher is facing backlash after handing out a homework assignment that questioned the cause of George Floyd's death.

The Saugerties, N.Y. teacher's assignment involved having students write a statement in preparation for the state's Regent's Examination that presented an argument about the Floyd case, NBC News reports.

"George Floyd did not die because Chauvin's knee was on his neck. He died from a heart attack and drug overdose," the background information on the assignment instructions allegedly reads.

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The assignment also reportedly prompted students to argue whether Floyd's trial should be retried after reports surfaced that a juror had participated in social justice protests prior to serving on the jury.

"Saugerties continues to make a name for itself with teachers like this. Who wants to take bets on it making the national news?" wrote Sakinah Irizarry, a local massage therapist who has two students in the district, while sharing the reported assignment on Facebook.
 
In a Tuesday statement to NBC News, Saugerties Central School District Superintendent Kirk Reinhardt said the school was looking into the incident.

"In this instance, when the teacher realized that a student felt uncomfortable with the assignment, the student was immediately contacted in order to acknowledge and discuss the student’s concerns," the statement read.

It continued, "The student’s parents were contacted, and the family and the District discussed next steps. The assignment was also immediately revised."