A New York assistant principal is facing scrutiny after delivering a profanity-laced tirade during a Black Lives Matter protest in Rochester. Steven Lysenko, a ninth-grade AP teacher at Spencerport High School in suburban Rochester, is accused of spewing anti-cop rhetoric during a Facebook Live video. The school district was forced to issue a statement after some parents were outraged over the expletive-laden rant.
Lysenko participated in a Black Lives Matter protest in Rochester on Saturday. Following what he deemed as an overaggressive encounter with Rochester police, the assistant principal launched into an enraged diatribe.
Lysenko started the video by introducing himself as the president of the local chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education. The teacher said that he and other demonstrators marched in Rochester as “an act of protest.” He continued by claiming, “We didn’t do anything but chant and sing.”
Lysenko and the group of BLM demonstrators allegedly confronted Rochester police officers on a bridge.
“Our peacekeepers ended up shooting pepper spray at us for singing and chanting and telling them what a s***ty-assed job they were doing,” Lysenko said in anger. “They can f*** right off, America!”
“F*** the police,” he screamed while wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt. “F*** Rochester police Department!”
This is Steven Lysenko, assistant principal at Spencerport High School in Rochester. He was at the riot last night and even reportedly led students in this march. He says it was "peaceful." At least two cops were injured last night. pic.twitter.com/WyRnso93Az— Brittany (@Brittany3l) September 5, 2020
The video went viral on social media, which reportedly caused some families to be outraged, according to WROC-TV.
The Spencerport Central School District issued a statement on the assistant principal’s rant:
Response to a social media video of district employee at the Rochester protest. As we have stated consistently and clearly, Spencerport Central School District stands in solidarity in support of racial equality and systemic change. We remain committed to this change, and want all of our families to know we further stand in solidarity with peaceful protesters. However, when a District employee uses language in public or on social media that does not align with our Code of Conduct or demonstrate appropriate role modeling for students, that is something that we will not condone. These statements by our administrator have caused disruption within our school community. We apologize to our students, parents and community that you had to hear this language from one of our employees.
The school district said the situation “will be addressed as a confidential, personnel matter.”
Lyssenko’s apparent Twitter bio states that he is an “advocate for social justice,” as reported in the New York Post. In June, a tweet from the account read, “To any students-past or present-who follow me here: know that when you post “#WhiteLivesMatter, you are condoning White Supremacy. In that I will not abide!”
Also in June, he appeared on a Facebook video apologizing for using “police-centric and police-friendly language.”
Lysenko did not immediately respond to requests for a comment on the situation from the New York Post.
There have been protests in Rochester for the last four nights, some of which have turned hostile, including protesters tormenting diners. On Saturday night, three Rochester police officers were taken to the hospital after being attacked by rioters who threw bottles and rocks at them, as well as shooting fireworks at the cops.
The protests stem from the release of bodycam video of the arrest of Daniel Prude, who died while in the custody of Rochester police in March. Seven police officers have been suspended for their involvement in the arrest of Prude.