This cropped screenshot from a TikTok video shows a scene that has sparked outrage: a Lindale student allegedly reenacting the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of a police officer.

Lindale ISD Superintendent Stan Surratt is addressing a viral post alleging a student acted out the George Floyd death in Minnesota at the hands of a police officer as a joke. Also, the school is responding to rumors that the student who came forward about the video will not be allowed to participate in graduation.

A post by Tyler activist Laya Washington shows a screen shot of a social media TikTok video where a girl dressed as a police officer has her knee on the neck of another person. The post was shared 487 times, including two action and initiative pages.

“Lindale ISD does not publicly comment on student discipline issues,” said Stan Surratt, Lindale ISD Superintendent in a statement provided to the Tyler Morning Telegraph and was posted on social media. “The incident in question did not happen at school or at a school sponsored event. There are several accusations about the actions of Lindale ISD that are simply untrue and are misleading the public about this incident. Lindale ISD has a reputation of being very accepting and fair to all students and families, while having a culture that is safe and respectful for all. Lindale ISD will make no further comment about this incident but will continue to work and have an open conversation with parents and students that are involved.”

In her post, Washington said, “Lindale Independent School District, so you guys just going to ignore the fact that one of your students dressed as a cop, kneeled on another student neck. Obviously mocking the death of George Floyd? We won’t let this slide.”

Though the statement said the school would not comment further, school officials did address the rumor the student who made the complaint would not be allowed to graduate. The school said that is not true and said they have talked to the family.

“The parents of the student who made the TikTok video came to our administrators and asked if their daughter could Op-Grad. That is the choice of the parent/student, not the school district. If she/her parents choose to Op-Grad, she can walk at graduation. All Op-Grad students are provided that opportunity. We have encouraged her to return to LHS. Because of FERPA laws, we are not allowed to comment any further,” the school told the Tyler Morning Telegraph in a statement.

Past students on Facebook are alleging they were punished for incidents that took place outside of school during non-school activities. One Facebook group said they are asking for incidents to present to the Lindale ISD school board.


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John is a two-time national columnist of the year and AP award-winner in Texas and New York for breaking news, videos and sports. He earned the Thomas J. Bulson Investigative Journalism award and has appeared on CNBC's American Greed, FOX and CNN.