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Racist incidents in Pittsford are the focus of a NY Times story

pittsford town street.jpg

The Town of Pittsford got some national publicity over the weekend in a story by the New York Times which talked about racist incidents in the town in recent years.

The article talked about a variety of concerns and incidents, including a video of a white student brandishing a gun and making a racist threat. When news about the video surfaced in September, Monroe County deputies had said that the teen was not an immediate threat, noting that the weapon was an air pistol and the video was recorded months ago.

But the NY Times article looked at other incidents as well, quoting some town residents and advocates who said that racist threats and taunts have happened too often in recent years in Pittsford.

The article also referenced an in-depth look at a lack of teacher diversity at suburban schools that was reported by WXXI News in 2016, which found that just one of Pittsford's teachers was Black.

According to the NY Times the district said that diversity hiring has increased in recent years, and Pittsford now has 13 teachers or administrators who identify as people of color.

School Superintendent Michael Pero issued a statement over the weekend saying that the Pittsford district is not immune to the problem of racism in the U.S.and he said the Times’ article shared past unacceptable and racist behaviors the district has been working on.

Pero said that staff and resources are in place in an effort to educate and facilitate those conversations among students and in the community.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.