“He gave the whole class cotton and we were made to pick out the cotton seeds,” seventh-grader Jahmiere O’Neal told WXXI News.
“He said, ‘Better clean it right, boy,’” Jahmiere added.
Teacher Patrick Rausch, a 20 year veteran of teaching, has been placed on administrative leave from the School of the Arts according to the district after using some experiential techniques of critical race theory, said the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
Previously, it’s been alleged that Rauch made students in his class wear leg shackles and call him “massah” during another lesson on slavery.
“My daughter social studies teacher grade 7th grade count yo days how the hell u make my baby learn how to pick cotton seeds out of the cotton,” said Precious Toss on Facebook about the incident at her daughter’s school.
Toss and her daughter are black.
“The 3 caucasian kids said im not picking no seeds out no cotton thats not my job and throws it in the trash,” added Toss.
The Facebook post includes a photo of the cotton balls.
The Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski, was less than unequivocal in his defense of the teacher.
“While we believe very strongly in due process and the right to an existing lawful protocol, we do not defend the indefensible,” Urbanski said according to WXXI.
“If someone departs from what they should be doing, they should suffer the consequences, but due process has to be allowed first,” Urbanski concluded.
When reached for comment teacher Patrick Rauch said “No comment.”
“If that’s what happened, it’s problematic, it’s troubling and it shouldn’t be going on,” School Board President Cynthia Elliott told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
“I don’t know why a person would want to teach black and brown students in the city of Rochester if they feel like that,” added Elliott, who the newspaper said previously has been critical of the mostly white teachers in the predominantly black school district.