NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – New Rochelle’s beleaguered native son Ray Rice is once again in the news this week, as officials from his alma mater took to the airwaves to discuss domestic abuse on NPR.
New Rochelle High School Principal Reginald Richardson and Schools Superintendent Brian Osborne appeared on “The Takeaway” with John Hochenberry on Monday, Oct. 27, to discuss the fallout for the district following the disturbing video, which was released by TMZ earlier this year, of Rice knocking out his then-fiancée, now wife, in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino.
Osborne noted that it was their job as educators to graduate students that are emotionally and mentally prepared for the next phase of their lives.
“We need to be mindful that we are raising young people (who require) the emotional intelligence to make them capable of preventing or intervening in instances where there’s dating or domestic violence,” he said. “New Rochelle has been actively engaged in doing this for years, and this instance and the attention it garnered helped focus on that part (of the district’s mission.)”
The school district has been proactive in educating its students about the realities of domestic violence. Richardson noted that the district “has a longstanding relationship” with “My Sister’s Place,” a Westchester County organization dedicated “to end violence in intimate relationships,” which has actively been working with sports teams at the high school.
“(Members from My Sister’s Place) have come into our health classes to deal with the issues of domestic violence and violence against women,” he said. “They’re working specifically with our athletics teams so we can help them become the best people they can be, who make good decisions.”
During the short radio segment, the pair of educators discussed the disconnect between certain members of the community and Rice, who led the high school to the 2003 state championship. Despite the egregious nature of his actions, Rice remains a divisive figure in the city with many still supporting him.
After listening to various quotes from members of the community supporting Rice, Richardson noted that those quotes were coming from some of the people the school district is hoping to educate.
“That sounds like the underdeveloped thinking of young people that need further development,” he said. “They are kids and when kids have conflicting feelings or emotions that they don’t know how to articulate, it can come out sounding very bad, confused or contradictory.”
“That squarely places it on our responsibility to provide the guidance and education to inform their thinking and to help them understand that what Ray did is unacceptable. That’s where we take this as an opportunity to teach them.”
The entire NRP segment can be heard here.
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