Attica riot a sensitive topic at school

ATTICA — The Attica Central School District has not considered teaching its students about the 1971 Attica Correctional Facility riot because it’s a sensitive issue for families and the community, district Superintendent Bryce Thompson said Friday.

“We have families — grandchildren, nieces and nephews — who lost family members,” Thompson said. “It’s not something we make a big deal of because it could upset kids in the building. There’s still the controversy or question of what factually occurred. It’s such a sensitive issue ...”

The superintendent said there has not been a request for the district to incorporate the riot into its curriculum.

“We have not provided an opportunity. We don’t have a special unit for it or recognition of it,” he said. Thompson said he’s sure there’s school district staff whose families have been affected by the riot.

The superintendent said the riot may be such a sensitive issue to the community that the community doesn’t want it to be taught. He said the district doesn’t even do anything brief on the event’s anniversary, such as a moment of silence.

“We have not had a request or a conversation or a dialogue,” he said. “Other schools don’t have that connection like the kids do here, the families. The families in this community were very much impacted by that event.”

Officials in 16 other school districts in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties were also contacted for to learn how the Attica riot may fit within their school or the state’s curriculum. They did not respond to requests for comments on the subject

Johnson Newspapers 7.1