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Teacher Under Fire For Controversial School Assignment Claiming George Floyd Died Of A Heart Attack

A New York high school teacher is under fire for assigning a controversial assignment about Derek Chauvin and George Floyd.

A teacher at an upstate New York high school is coming under fire this week after she told students that George Floyd died of a heart attack and a drug overdose.

English teacher Hope Antonelli teaches at Saugerties Senior High School (pictured above) in the city of Saugerties, which is on the Hudson River about halfway between NYC and Albany. Now, she could be facing discipline after students and parents complained to the district about an apparent assignment she gave to her ninth-grade English class.

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In the assignment from last Friday, pictures of which have been making the rounds on social media, Antonelli asked students to “create a bold topic and thematic sentence” for a writing project, according to the Times Herald-Record.

She then shared the specific assignment with the class, writing (below):

“George Floyd did not die because of [Minneapolis police officer Derek] Chauvin’s knee was on his neck. He died from a heart attack and drug overdose. However, because Chauvin used excessive force and failed to render aid, he was convicted on all three counts by a jury of his peers. (Arrest was over a counterfeit $20 bill).”

Um… what?!

For the record, according to the New York Times, the Minneapolis coroner who examined Floyd’s body after death ruled his manner of death as a homicide at the hands of Chauvin (pictured above, inset), and wrote in part that it was caused by:

“…cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdural, restraint, and neck compression.”

So, NOT a heart attack or drug overdose!

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The assignment then went on to mention a man named Brandon Mitchell, who was a juror in the Floyd case against Chauvin when the latter was convicted for Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020.

Mitchell, Antonelli wrote, could have the whole trial re-done if he were allegedly part of the Black Lives Matter movement before taking part in the jury trial:

“New evidence has surfaced that [Mitchell] could not have been forthcoming in his statements [about not being part of Black Lives Matter]. Should the Derek Chauvin case be retried because of Brandon Mitchell. Why or Why Not?”


The answer is no! And a HARD PASS on this assignment, thanks!!!

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Understandably, parents and students alike are up in arms over the bizarre, conspiratorial and flat-out incorrect tone of the assignment. The whole issue has caused so much controversy that it has already sparked an official review by the Saugerties Central School District, according to the New York Post.

Student Sakinah Irizarry told NBC News she was outraged that the assignment would ever use such a traumatic experience like that as part of a school lesson:

“Even if we were not talking about this case, specifically, it takes the death of a person, I’d say, from a very cold and distant point of view. I keep coming back to empathy. It is not an empathetic point of view of a person who died, it is blaming a person who’s died for their own death. That chips away at empathy.”


As for Antonelli, at this point, it’s unclear is she is facing discipline or not. According to the New York Post, the school’s superintendent declined to comment on the teacher herself or any possible punishment, only saying that his goal was to make sure “all our students feel they are seen, heard, respected, and valued.”

Yeah, at the very least…

Reactions, Perezcious readers? Some people, ya know?

[Image via NBC News/YouTube/Hudson Valley News Network/YouTube]

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May 14, 2021 12:40pm PDT