FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2021
CONTACT Edwin Stubbs Edwin@narrative-project.com 973.223.0525
Radical Advocates for Cross-Cultural Education Release Statement on Police Officers Excessive Use of Force and Arrest of Two School Children at West Side Middle School in Waterbury; Urges Waterbury School Officials to Remove Police from Schools
WATERBURY, CT - On September 20th, 2021 at West Side Middle School, 483 Chase Parkway, police officers were called to break up a fight between two middle school children. The officers showed an extremely excessive use of force, including kneeling on the back of one student involved in the altercation and arresting both students. After viewing the graphic video posted on The Waterbury Observer’s Facebook page, Robert Goodrich and Michaela Barratt of the Waterbury-based advocacy group Radical Advocates for Cross-Cultural Education (RACCE) have issued the following statement in response: “The jarring and explicit image of a police officer kneeling on the back of another human being has been ingrained into our collective consciousness since the murder of George Floyd. This Waterbury police officer that responded to the altercation between two school children at West Side Middle School is nothing short of an abhorrent and horrendous act,” said Robert Goodrich, Executive Director of RACCE. “The Waterbury Public School system continues to fail our students in creating a positive learning environment that will not result in our children being placed in handcuffs. They must do better and rid our schools in Waterbury of these aggressive and threatening police officers.” “It is unbelieve that a place that should be a safe haven for students to come and learn has turned into a conduit for police brutality of young Black and Brown students in Waterbury,” said Michaela Barratt, RACCE Youth Organizer. “The Waterbury Public School system has dropped the ball in protecting our most marginalized and preyed upon students. These boys were abused and arrested due to a system that has neglected them for long enough. It is high time for the Waterbury Public School system to end their unhealthy, unjust, and unnecessary reliance on Waterbury Police Officers and make our schools a more healthy learning environment for our Black and Brown students.” All students deserve to feel safe, secure and supported in their places of learning. Join us in our urge to end the over-policing and traumatization of our children. (Sign the Care Not Cops Petition)
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About Radical Advocates for Cross-Cultural Education (R.A.C.C.E.) Our mission is to challenge systems of oppression by advocating for culturally competent educational practices. Therefore, we believe the most effective way to triumph over systemic forms of oppression is to have an educational system that serves the historically underserved and underrepresented. This can only be accomplished if we advocate for an educational system that is positioned to provide culturally competent school professionals and curriculum, human services, and disciplinary policies, which combat: generational poverty, achievement gaps, implicit and explicit biases towards race, ethnicity and gender.