Teacher Terminated For Making Black Students Pick Cotton; Allows White Students To Forgo Assignment
Parents demand that a teacher be terminated after forcing students to pick cotton seeds during a slavery lesson.
Last week, Rochester School of the Arts teacher Patrick Rausch, who is white, gave his seventh-grade students an assignment that included picking the seeds out of the cotton. However, the lesson took a disturbing turn when Rausch allowed white students to throw their cotton away and work on their Chromebooks instead. Several Black students reported that when they tried to throw their cotton away, Rausch threatened them with a poor grade for disregarding the assignment. He even asked students to call him "Massah."
"I never would have thought a teacher would do such things. When you send your kid to school, you are sending them to school in the hands of those teachers," said Precious Morris, whose daughter was one student who Rausch threatened with a bad grade if she ditched the assignment.
Nearly half of the School of the Arts attendees are Black, and about 65 percent are considered economically disadvantaged.
One parent, Vialma Ramos-O'Neal, reported that her 13-year-old son told her that Rausch taught his class the same lesson during a separate social studies class.
The Rochester School of the Arts has launched an investigation into the shocking lesson and has placed Rausch on administrative leave. Parents, however, are pushing for his teaching license to be revoked.
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