Government Schools

West Hartford Board of Education Issues Statement Regarding Alleged Racial Slur

West Hartford Board of Education Chair Lorna Thomas-Farquharson shares a statement on Sept. 5, 2023. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Public Schools is investigating use of a racial slur at Sedgwick Middle School.

By Ronni Newton

The West Hartford Public Schools administration and Board of Education have been advised of the alleged use of a racial slur by a teacher at Sedgwick Middle School, and are conducting an investigation.

“We take this extremely seriously,” Superintendent Paul Vicinus told We-Ha.com. He confirmed an investigation into the allegation is underway.

At Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, Chairperson Lorna Thomas-Farquharson read the following statement:

“The Board has been made aware of an allegation of a racial slur uttered in the presence of students,” Thomas-Farquharson said. “We would like the community to know that the Board of Education and the district administration take these matters seriously and remain committed to our vision to value and honor all in our community. The district administration is investigating thoroughly. I want to express that although we have done extensive training to create school environments that are inclusive and equity driven, we know that our work is never done. The defining factor for our district and our community lies within how we respond – how we come together to ensure our students feel safe, valued, and seen for who they are.”

Specific details about the alleged use of a racial slur were not provided.

Amy Fichman, a West Hartford Public Schools parent, said during the public comment period at the beginning of  Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting that Sedgwick Middle School “was not a safe place” for her son, who is autistic, mixed-race, and has special needs. She also said that last week a teacher “racially profiled a Black student in front of his peers” when the teacher said the “N-word” multiple times.

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  • It looks like you put the teacher’s name in. The parent’s name is in a local paper. Reading these articles it would appear one of the two parties will have a lawsuit depending on the outcome of the investigation.

    • The teacher has not been named in this article. The mother’s name was published because she voluntarily gave an interview.

      Let’s stop looking to blame the media for this story, and keep the focus where it should be — on the teacher who allegedly did this and the school system that has a responsibility to deal with it appropriately.

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