Parents livid after cotton-picking slavery lesson and shackled students: 'How dare you'
Photo by Trisha Downing on Unsplash

Parents voiced outrage after hearing from their children how a seventh-grade social studies teacher conducted lessons on slavery.

"A teacher at Rochester's School of the Arts is on leave facing a host of allegations of racist behavior, including placing handcuffs and leg shackles on his mostly Black students and making them pick cotton during a seventh-grade social studies class," the Democrat & Chronicle reports. "The mothers of two children in different class sections said their children shared the same anecdotes with them this week, including that the teacher, 20-year RCSD veteran Patrick Rausch, referred to himself as 'massah' and allowed white students in the classes to stop when they complained, but not Black students."

The newspaper noted the teacher is white while the student body is about half Black.

"The two students also both separately reported to their mothers that Rausch had made Black students wear handcuffs and leg shackles in a lesson earlier in the year," the newspaper reported. "When they failed to wriggle out of them, they reported, he told them: 'It's OK; your ancestors couldn't either.'"

Precious Tross said her daughter Ja'Nasia Brown is "traumatized."

"She feels belittled," she said. "He made a mockery out of slavery. How dare you."

She also spoke with WHAM-TV.

"I am angry, I am upset, I am appalled," she said. "It is very unacceptable."

She posted a photo of cotton to Facebook.

Watch WHAM-TV's coverage:

Patrick Rausch