Video shows NC middle school students reenacting, mocking murder of George Floyd

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021
NC middle school students mock murder of George Floyd
One student gives a thumbs up while others can be heard in the background laughing.

SALISBURY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Students at a North Carolina middle school are in trouble for reenacting the murder of George Floyd.

It reportedly happened at Charles C. Erwin Middle School in Rowan County.

Video of the incident shows one student with his knee on the neck of another student. One of the students can be heard saying "I can't breathe," which were some of the last words Floyd said as officer Derek Chauvin killed him.

"They think it's funny that a man got his neck kneeled on until he died," parent Breanna Cherry said in an interview with ABC affiliate WSOC. "How is that funny?"

Cherry's daughter attends Erwin Middle School. She said the video sparked an emotional mother-daughter conversation.

"It was more than those two children in that video," Cherry said. "It sounds like a classroom full of people, at least a couple others. It's too much. It's too much because we're in 2021. We're not in the 1950s."

Rowan-Salisbury School System Superintendent Dr. Tony B. Watlington Sr. said the video is under investigation.

"Our diversity is what makes us stronger and more resilient," Watlington said in a statement. "While we are extremely disappointed this incident has occurred, we are using this incident as a teachable moment, and encourage all of our parents and members of our school community to discuss how we treat each other as a measure of our shared values, respect for one another and our commitment to human dignity and worth of all students and staff."