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Feedback 3/25/20: Grocery workers in the age of COVID-19, RCSD leaves students behind, and beware the immigration crackdown 

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Thank grocery workers, too

It’s great to be thankful for and give a lot of love and prayers to the medical and first responder community during the current health crisis.

But I would also like to thank the food workers and grocery store employees who are still out there making sure we have food.

Not only are they generally underpaid and probably unable to afford the best health insurance, they are now extremely overworked and in a very stressful position.

It’s time for this country to start taking care of the less fortunate. We will soon realize that we live in a third world country.

Stadt is the owner of Flour City Pasta

RCSD leaves disabled students behind

I appreciated CITY’s take on the matter of CDOS diplomas being assigned to an inordinate number of RCSD students (“The RCSD’s dumbed-down diplomas,” Editor’s Notebook, March 11).The scenario gives the impression that these diplomas were conferred to raise the overall graduation rate.

There are two things with which I would like to take issue. The first is that there seems to be an assumption by many that “students with disabilities,” in general, are incapable of achieving a traditional diploma. This is not to say that all or most students in any group can achieve the highest levels of Regents diplomas, but the real issue is whether students with disabilities have the right teachers and accommodations to facilitate learning.

RCSD has failed to provide a curriculum or approach that successfully educates and integrates students with disabilities. Without a team that is trained/certified in the best and latest advances in communication, education, and techniques for vastly different disability needs, we can depend on RCSD just routing students with disabilities through the educational mill without the benefit of learning that will result in productive adult lives. Without ongoing certification and courses, the staff that works with students with disabilities will flounder.

The second matter is that of CDOS diplomas, which are called “certificates” in many states. Parents of students with disabilities too often are not informed that these “diplomas” mean little more than “this student was at school”. They are not invited to discuss options or to invoke a better level of accommodation than the class/school offers. This seems to be more prevalent among families whose first language is not English.

I have met and worked with far too many parents and former students who never realized that the CDOS “diploma” forestalls enrollment in college unless additional courses are taken to meet the requirements.

The public needs full disclosure about options for students’ curricula, graduation options and accommodations. Parents should have in-person meetings (not just mailed info) to discuss opportunities for their children. Societies are judged by how those with the least power are served and empowered. RCSD needs to step it up, big time.


Beware the immigrant crackdown

Local immigrants and their allies fought for and won Rochester’s sanctuary city status, protecting undocumented immigrants here from deportation. They also fought for and won the statewide Green Light Law, allowing undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses while shielding their DMV records from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

These achievements are now threatened by the Trump administration. The latest retaliation is in lockstep with a wider crackdown by the Trump administration on sanctuary policies like those in Rochester, which keep local police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities in order to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation.

President Donald Trump reportedly plans to deploy heavily armed Border Patrol Tactical Units (BORTAC) to sanctuary cities to help ICE with immigration arrests. These units have been described as the SWAT teams of Border Patrol. This is the latest draconian move by the White House against immigrants and those who protect them.

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