Gov. Abbott Demands Texas Teacher Be Fired for Comparing Police to KKK in Assignment

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called for a teacher to be fired for assigning a lesson to students which featured a cartoon comparing police officers to the Ku Klux Klan and slave owners.

The Wylie Independent School District (Wylie ISD) has already apologized and confirmed the online assignment has been pulled after it was criticized by the national vice president for the Fraternal Order of Police.

The cartoon in question shows a white police officer kneeling on a black male's neck—similar to the move used by officer Derek Chauvin on Minneapolis man George Floyd—alongside similar cartoons showing a slave owner on a Black man in shackles and a Klansman holding a noose around a Black man's neck.

The images were used as part of an 8th grade social studies assignment at Cooper Junior High which asked students to question what role does protest play in democracy and "What is cartoon #1 saying about U.S. history and the death of George Floyd."

The image was shared on Twitter by vice president for the Fraternal Order of Police Joe Gamaldi, who called it "abhorrent and disgusting", adding it "only further widens the gap between police officers and the youth in our community."

In another tweet, Gamaldi said: "I cannot begin to tell you how abhorrent & disturbing this comparison is, but what is more disturbing is that no adult within your school thought better before sending this assignment to children."

8th grade teachers in a school outside of Dallas, TX (@WylieISD) gave students a home work assignment comparing police officers to slave owners and the KKK.

This is abhorrent and disgusting, and only further widens the gap between police officers and the youth in our community.

— Joe Gamaldi (@JoeGamaldi) August 20, 2020

Wylie ISD said in a statement earlier this week that political cartoons portrayed in the lesson were not part of the district's curriculum.

"The assignment has been removed, and students will not be expected to complete it," a spokesperson added.

Abbott is now calling those responsive to be fired, saying it is "unacceptable" for a teacher in a Texas public school to compare police officers to the KKK.

"It's the opposite of what must be taught. The teacher should be fired," Abbott tweeted.

"I'm asking the Texas Education Agency to investigate and take action."

In a further statement to WFAA following Abbott's comments, Wylie ISD said: "We understand the Governor's concern about the use of the unapproved political cartoon in teaching a junior high social studies lesson.

"We don't condone the use of these divisive images and are addressing the issue to prevent this from happening again.

"Wylie ISD will comply with the Governor and the Texas Education Agency to investigate this matter as we work together to rebuild trust in the community."

The identity of the teacher who assigned the essay questions with the image has not been revealed.

The Texas Education Agency has been contacted for comment.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks to the press after attending the public viewing for George Floyd at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas on June 8, 2020 ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty