A Virginia school district is taking action after a student shared an offensive George Floyd meme on social media that was shared by others.
An unidentified Cave Spring High School student posted the image after the school beat their rivals at Hidden Valley High School in a football game Friday, according to Roanoke County Public Schools. The doctored photo placed the Cave Spring logo over former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin as he kneeled on George Floyd, over whom Hidden Valley’s logo was placed.
School officials were made aware of the photo Saturday and are holding a “student accountable for his actions,” Chuck Lionberger, director of community relations for the district, said. Lionberger said the district could not disclose specific discipline, citing student privacy laws.
“We also discovered this student had posted a couple of other images that were not related to George Floyd, but were just as deplorable,” Lionberger said in a statement. “Additionally, we learned a few students shared these images and we are also holding those students accountable as well.”
The “abhorrent, disturbing” image shared is not representative of the values at Cave Spring or the district, Roanoke County Public Schools Superintendent Ken Nicely said in a statement.
“We believe strongly in creating a culture of kindness and respect. We do not condone this behavior in any way and condemn this act,” Nicely said. “Actions such as this are not representative of who we are and what we believe.”
George Floyd died in May after officers in Minneapolis attempted to arrest him over a report of a possibly counterfeit $20 bill. Former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin is currently on trial for of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Prosecutors said Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds, which they have argued led to his death. Chauvin’s attorney argued he died of an overdose, underlying health conditions and adrenaline.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office classified Floyd's death as a homicide that occurred while he was being restrained by police and listed the cause of death as a "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."
Floyd’s death sparked a new wave of racial reckoning across the country, as video of the police encounter outraged millions of people across the world. Advocates and activists have reignited conversations on racial inequity in a range of areas.