ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester City School District held a press conference detailing their system’s issues that they say failed Trevyan and his family.
RCSD Superintendent, Barbara Deane-Williams, and RCSD Board President, Van White, spoke on behalf of the school district and say they own their mistakes and take full responsibility for the young man’s passing.
“I had to, along with my colleague, look a grieving mother in the eye and tell her that we had made a mistake, a grievous mistake, an unalterable mistake,” said White.
Trevyan’s immediate family did not want to comment, but longtime family friend Cynthia Middleton did. She says Trevyan’s Aunt Velma Handy had legal guardianship of Trevyan, but he was living with his mother. He was not listed as autistic within the school district and she believes that when Trevyan switched school districts something in the paperwork fell through the cracks.
“What I love the most, how the district, the police officers came forth and said 'you’re right, we have to roll with this one,' and I appreciate that I truly do, because I don’t want to put all blame on them because we have a major role as being a parent,” said Cynthia Middleton.
Five staff members were there to greet students in front of the school as they got off the bus that Thursday morning, but said they didn’t see Trevyan exit. He was later observed on video as the second to last student who exited the bus before he turned right away from the school.
“He was on a mission and being on a mission at any means necessary he had to do what he felt he had to do. He was upset when he got off the bus. It was obvious that he was very upset when he got off the bus,” Middleton said.
His special education teacher correctly marked him absent, but Rowe was marked present in school by three teachers on March 8. Two of them are substitute teachers and one is full-time. The trio is now on administrative leave.
“It also brings me no honor; indeed it brings me great shame to admit that we have reason to believe that some adults that are part of this system that we all work to try to protect children, apparently attempted to alter attendance records. As a result of those known facts there is, but one inescapable conclusion: The Rochester School District failed young Trevyan,” added White.
“What I would wish for and other parents let this be a learning lesson to you guys. We must parent our children. We can’t just point fingers at our officials, the teachers. Charity starts at home,” added Middleton.
An independent investigation is ongoing with the RCSD
Funeral arrangements for Trevyan have not been made yet.