Thank you Dr. Ponds for arranging such a thorough review of conditions in our buildings.
Welcome to all of our new BOE members and congratulation to all of our schools’ educator of the year award winners.
On such a celebratory night it pains me to have to contribute the following…
Like many in our community, the PTAC Executive Board and our PTA leaders are aware of a letter detailing allegations of racist, sexist, ableist and other wholly inappropriate actions and statements in the past by current and former district administrators overseeing the MPS Buildings & Grounds Department.
The alleged behavior and statements are abhorrent, deeply disturbing and completely unacceptable. They would violate our district’s obligations to all students and staff. And they are completely contrary to PTAC’s and our PTAs’ commitment to a school system that is inclusive, collaborative and productive for all students and staff.
The letter also asserted that Nishuane, Charles H. Bullock, Hillside and Glenfield Schools were for a period of time disfavored and deliberately denied resources for cleaning and remediation of hazardous building conditions, to the detriment of all staff and students in those schools. And while we are reassured by statements from Dr. Ponds and MEA President Petal Robertson that health and safety conditions in our schools were properly remedied prior to hybrid openings this spring, we expect these claims of past behaviors to be addressed for the ongoing safety and cleanliness of all of our schools.
We understand that an investigation of all the allegations by an independent third party is underway. We trust that the Superintendent and the Board of Education will take the appropriate actions necessary to address the grave nature of these allegations.
As parents, caregivers, and families of students in our schools, we must all remain vigilant against the toxicity of bias and inequity in all of its forms. No one in the Montclair Public Schools should ever be subjected to injustice or discriminatory conduct. PTAC and our PTAs will do what is in our power to help ensure our schools are an inclusive and safe place for everyone as we work toward a time when we can say that discrimination has no home in Montclair.