Calling on RCSD to Take Action

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CDR and RCIL call on the Rochester City School District to take action now!

The Center for Disability Rights and Regional Center for Independent Living are appalled by reports that Rochester City School District teacher Patrick Rausch made his Black and Brown students pick cotton, while allowing white students to opt out of the “lesson”. This is not Raush’s first reported incident of racist behavior which is indicative of an apparent culture in our schools that tolerates racism, ignorance, bullying, and bigotry. That must end. If these allegations are substantiated, Rausch must be fired and his license to teach revoked.

CDR and RCIL care deeply about all children in the Rochester community. We have served and mentored children with disabilities of all races and backgrounds. Some of these youth and young adults have been or currently are students in the Rochester City School District. These children are the future of our society. Each and every one of our children deserve to be educated in a safe and secure environment that builds their self-esteem and prepares them for a successful future. It is incumbent on us to ensure that we ensure our Black and Brown children are particularly supported. Raush’s reported actions are antithetical to accomplishing that.

CDR and RCIL call on the Rochester City School District to fully investigate not only Raush’s reported actions, but also to address implicit bias and systemic oppression within RCSD and align its policies, practices, behaviors and actions to be anti-racist to ensure that no such incidents ever happen again.

CDR works for national, state, and local systemic change to advance the rights of people with disabilities by supporting direct action, coalition building, community organizing, policy analysis, litigation, training for advocates, and community education.

CDR advocates for the full integration, independence, and civil rights of people with disabilities. CDR works through a disability justice lens which centers disabled BIPOC and with an intentional framework to end racism and all systems of oppression.