Rochester school officials are investigating allegations that a white teacher told his class of mostly Black students to pick seeds out of cotton and put on handcuffs during lessons on slavery in a seventh-grade social studies class.
According to the The Associated Press, the teacher implemented the distasteful lessons on slavery during his seventh-grade social studies class on Tuesday (April 26).
The teacher, who hasn’t been identified, teaches a predominately Black class. He has been placed on leave during the ongoing investigation.
Rochester school officials began their investigation after a parent posted on Facebook that her daughter was confronted with the lesson on April 26.
“He made a mockery out of slavery,” themother of one of the students, Precious Tross told The AP.
“I don’t have a problem with you teaching our kids about slavery and what our ancestors went through and how they had to pick cotton,” the mother continued. “Our teachers back in the day told us that, but they don’t bring in cotton and make you pick cotton seeds out of cotton.”
Another student, Jahmiere O’Neal, said, “it made me feel bad to be a Black person.”
Teachers union President Adam Urbanski told WXXXI-AM that consequences should happen following the “due process” of an investigation.