BPS says more than 100 ‘bias-based’ incidents found at Boston Latin

BOSTON (WHDH) - The Boston Public Schools announced that its Office Of Equity finished an investigation that says more than 100 bias-based incidents were found dating back to 2012 at Boston Latin School.

The review was conducted following seven allegations of inappropriate race-based incidents at the school from November 2014 to January 2016. That review included an instance where the school’s administration took “insufficient action.”

“The Office of Equity has thoroughly examined every concern raised by a BLS student or employee since the issues were brought to our attention in January,” said BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang. “We take every concern regarding possible bias seriously. We will continue to focus on supporting BLS students, parents, staff and administrators as we move forward as a community to foster and sustain an environment where all feel valued and can flourish.”

In the more thorough review, 115 reports of biased-based conduct were examined, including 91 complaints describing 81 separate alleged incidents documented during a Jan. 22 meeting held by the BLS student organization B.L.A.C.K (Black Leaders Aspiring for Change and Knowledge).

The investigation spanned a total of 134 Boston Latin administrators, teachers, staff, students, and parents. The review also documented documents including social media posts, texts, emails, personnel records and more.

In total, six reports found adminstrators failed to take the appropriate action; four cases found teachers failed to follow policy. In 39 cases, the alleged conduct was a student on another student. In 31 additional reports, a review did not have enough critical information or did not rise to the level of a policy violation.

Chang said he has reviewed the documents and and has shared it with the interim Boston Latin headmaster Michael Contompasis. The school’s headmaster and top administrator both stepped down in June after the school came under fire for how the incidents were handled.

Mayor Walsh’s office released a statement about the investigation:

Any incident of racial bias in our schools is unacceptable, and that’s why we have implemented a reporting system that will ensure that every student’s voice is heard. I am confident that the new leadership at Boston Latin will ensure all students are in an environment where they feel safe to learn.

More information about the investigation can be found here.

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