The Brownsville Independent School District issued a statement Tuesday from Superintendent Rene Gutierrez concerning graduates who express feelings about George Floyd, the Houston native and Minneapolis resident whose death on Memorial Day while in police custody spurred worldwide protests.
Floyd died while Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s throat while handcuffed for more than nine minutes. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and three other officers who were part of the arrest have also been charged.
The statement reads:
“As the Brownsville Independent School District Superintendent of Schools, I am a firm believer in our freedom of speech and expression. I do not have a problem if any of our graduates kneel during the national anthem. That is their constitutional right and it is their choice. Some of our graduates have made a choice to express their feelings by kneeling, I am not going to take away their freedom of expression, and so far, our students have done this in a peaceful manner.
“It bothers me that a few people have posted incorrect information through their social media about not allowing our graduates to kneel if they make that choice. I invite you to watch our graduations through our BISD website and you will witness our awesome BISD graduates freedom of speech and expression at its finest. “
“The senior class of 2020 deserves all of our support during these very difficult times.”
Commencement ceremonies for the seven BISD early college high schools are taking place this week at Sams Memorial Stadium.