A photo showing two New Jersey high school students apparently mocking the police death of George Floyd has been circulating on social media.
The photo shows one shirtless student wearing a red “Make American Great Again” hat and a police badge on a chain pinning his knee to the back of the neck of another teen on the ground in an ape mask, NJ.com reported.
Floyd died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes.
Multiple parents have confirmed to NJ.com that the unmasked student in the photo attends Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington.
Jeffrey Moore, the superintendent of Hunterdon Central Regional High School district, confirmed to the news outlet that local police are investigating racist social media posts that have circulated in recent weeks, but did not say whether the photo in question was part of that investigation.
“We’ve had recent incidents on social media involving students, and incidents of infiltration with racist slurs on videoconference platforms,” Moore said.
In August, when the photo first appeared online, Moore sent a letter to parents of students at the school.
“I write to share my utter disgust and deepest concern over a recent racist post on social media, allegedly perpetrated by students of our school,” Moore wrote in the letter, according to NJ.com.
“We take such reports very seriously and pursue all avenues available to protect the safety and wellbeing of everyone who lives and learns in our community. In that, we work with parents and law enforcement, including our partners in the Raritan Township Police Department and the Hunterdon County Bias Crimes Unit, without hesitation.”
Raritan Township police declined to comment on the matter to NJ.com.
Meanwhile, some parents of students at the school were outraged by the photo.
“It’s extremely offensive and disrespectful and something that has no place in our town, in the city, or in the state, or in the country,” Mark Moton, a black parent of a student who attends Hunterdon Central, told NJ.com.
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