Even though school officials and teachers are required to do everything in their power to keep students safe during school hours, racial incidents in schools countrywide are reported almost on a daily basis. While different kinds of fights, arguments and misunderstandings between students are understandable, the increasing trend of teachers-involved racial incidents are very concerning for everyone involved in the educational process.
Mother of minor Black student on Facebook recently informed the public and parents of other students after she found out that her son was roped into a mock slave auction held by his classmates, in which Black children were “sold” by a “slavemaster.” In the story we reported about less than two months ago, the mother was furious why none of the school officials or the teachers prevented the incident.
This alarming trend continues as multiple news outlets reported for yet another teacher-involved racial incident in upstate N. Y. According to Newsweek, parents of Black students accuse seventh-grade social studies teacher for making their children to wear handcuffs and pick cotton during lessons about slavery. Just when the school officials learned about the alleged incident, they placed the teacher on administrative leave at least until the investigation is completely finished.
The educator was identified as A. Rausch, a veteran teacher who has been working at the N. Y based School of the Arts for roughly 20 years, and he is additionally accused of referring to himself as “massah” during the exercises and allowing white students to opt out of the lesson if they felt uncomfortable, but not students of color.
In addition, some of the parents who decided to speak publicly about this particular incident said that when their children informed the teacher they were unable to get out of the shackles, he allegedly said, “It’s OK; your ancestors couldn’t either.” According to Democrat and Chronicle that reported about this incident few days ago, about half of the students at that particular school are Black, while Rausch is white.
Precious Tross, a mother of Black student who attended that class, confirmed the incident in a Facebook post and she even shared a photo of the cotton her daughter picked in class. As per Tross’ claims, the teacher allegedly made the students sing the slave song, “Wade in the Water.” “My daughter social studies teacher [grade 7] count yo days,” Tross wrote in the post, all in capital letters. “How the hell u make my baby learn how to pick cotton seeds out of the cotton[?]”
“I have fought all along for my son to be included in everything his peers are, and this man degraded him, insulted him, and made him not want to be Black,” another mother said, according to Democrat & Chronicle. “I was in shock.”
“The district takes these situations very seriously, as descriptions of what occurred in the classroom by the school community are extremely troubling,” the school board said in a short statement sent to families of seventh-grade students confirming they are aware of and investigating the incident.