ROCHESTER, Minn. - Of the 17,791 students enrolled in Rochester Public Schools in the 2018 school year, 60.4% are white, and 39.6% have a different racial or ethnic identity, accoring to date from the Minnesota Department of Education. Comparatively, of the 1,454 Rochester Public School staff, 44 of them are not white, according to number provided by RPS, meaning around 96% are white, and 3% of them are people of color.
This ddifference is something Manjari Majumdar, a recent John Marshall High School graduate and person of color, would like to see change. "I would definitely like to see more representation of people of color, especially as teachers and counselors and coaches. That would be good to see," she says.
On Wednesday, community members gathered for a listening session regarding the agreement the Department of Human Rights and Rochester Public Schools are working on regarding unfair disciplinary action taken against students of color at Rochester Public Schools. Parents shared stories of discrimination they say their kids are facing at school. Rochester is one of several Minnesota schools the department is looking at.
RPS released a statement saying, in part, "Rochester Public Schools acknowledges there is still significant work to be done on the issue of disparities."
Some teachers and school board members were in attendance at the listening session, but others and Superintendent Muñoz were not.