Saugerties BoE hires attorney to review George Floyd writing assignment
William J. Kemble is reporting for the Daily Freeman the Saugerties Board of Education has hired an attorney to review the circumstances surrounding a ninth-grade English teacher's writing assignment that stated George Floyd did not die because he was killed as the result of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin's actions. The board May 25, approved hiring Paul Brock, on the anniversary of Floyd's death. The contract with Brock states he will be paid $180 per hour to investigate "all matters ... relating to a complaint concerning teacher misconduct." No timeframe for the investigation was announced. Saugerties High School English teacher Hope Antonelli drew sharp criticism and allegations of racism in early May after giving ninth-graders a writing assignment based on the premise that "George Floyd did not die because Chauvin’s knee was on his neck. He died from a heart attack and drug overdose." Chauvin was convicted in April for the May 25, 2020, death of Floyd after a jury found that he pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes while Floyd was lying on the ground handcuffed, thereby causing his death. Antonelli ultimately revised the assignment, Saugerties Superintendent Kirk Reinhardt told parents in a May 11 letter. Reinhardt later announced that Antonelli had been reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation into the assignment. He provided no further details. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.