Monday, March 20, 2017


School Superintendent John Ramos is promising what he described as a "comprehensive chronology" of the events related to the recent racist and bias incidents in some schools, ranging from racist graffiti to swastikas.

He said the report will be provided to the school board by next Monday. It will likely review the racist messages found at South Orange Middle School and swastikas at SOMS and South Mountain Elementary School. It is unclear but probable it may also include the slave auction images and activities at South Mountain and Jefferson schools.

"The district has been contending with a complicated set of issues of late," Ramos said during Saturday's special school board budget meeting. "In order to provide the Board of Education with a comprehensive chronology of events for both the recent bias incidents in our schools and incidents where reports of bias instruction have been made, the superintendent will provide a report to the Board of Education by March 27 that includes the following information for each incident: a description, date, timeline, content, and subsequent communication and decision points related to the incident where such communication included interaction between my office and any of the following: building leaders, strategic leadership team, anti-bias experts, community leaders and the Board of Education itself."

Ramos also said the report would indicate information on decisions made in reaction to each incident, if it was investigated, if it was found to be a case of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB), if police were contacted, who made that decision, if a decision was made for further action, and the outcome of any decision.

"This report should help clarify matters for both the Board of Education and the community in regards to the incidents we have been experiencing of late," Ramos said.

School Board President Elizabeth Baker added, "I want to make clear to the public that the board is asking for this information not as part of a blame game or finger pointing, but to have a clear understanding that we can share to the extent we are allowed to by law about what exactly has happened."

The board is also set to meet tonight for its regular monthly meeting, which is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Montrose School, 536 Clark st., South Orange.

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