New York teacher under fire for Cotton, Classroom handcuffs over slavery – NBC New York

Rochester school officials are investigating allegations that a white teacher told his class of mostly black students to pick cottonseeds and put on handcuffs during lessons about slavery in a school classroom. seventh grade social studies.

“It made me feel bad to be a black person,” college student Jahmiere O’Neal told the media.

The teacher has been placed on leave while the school system investigates the allegations. They came to light after a dismayed parent posted on Facebook that his daughter faced the cotton picking lesson on Tuesday.

“He made fun of slavery,” the mother, Precious Tross, also known as Precious Morris, later said.

“I have no problem with you teaching our children about slavery and what our ancestors went through and how they had to pick cotton,” she said. “Our teachers at the time told us, but they don’t bring cotton and make you pick cottonseed from cotton.”

School officials did not identify the teacher. Teachers’ union president Adam Urbanski told WXXI-AM that ‘if anyone deviates from what they should be doing, they should suffer the consequences, but due process must be allowed first. “.

Tross and Vialma Ramos-O’Neal, who is Jahmiere’s mother, said the teacher let white kids opt out of cotton picking while not letting colored kids opt out.

“I was like, ‘Oh, I’m not doing that,’ straight away,” Morris’ daughter Ja’Nasia Brown said. “And then he said, ‘Do it. It’s for a good grade.

On another occasion, the teacher brought handcuffs and shackles, according to the students. Tross said when his daughter hesitated to put them on, the teacher threatened to send her to the principal’s office or the school counselor.

The parents are asking for the teacher’s dismissal and the revocation of his teaching license.

School principal Kelly Nicastro told parents in a letter that headteachers “take these allegations very seriously”, and a statement from the school board called them “extremely troubling”.

“In a black and brown student district, it’s important to be sensitive to the historical setting in which our students engage and learn,” said council president Cynthia Elliott. About half of the students at the School of the Arts are black.

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