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Notice of claim filed against Pittsford CSD over allegations of racism

May 16, 2019 09:12 AM

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WHEC) -- A notice of claim was filed last week against the Pittsford Central School District over allegations of racism. 

The claim alleges a biracial student at Pittsford Mendon High School was taunted and insulted by another student with racial slurs on multiple occasions. 

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It also claims school leaders were made aware of the incidents and failed to act. 

Attorney Jeff Wicks filed the notice of claim on behalf of his client. He had no comment Wednesday. View the redacted notice of claim below:

Notice of claim filed against Pittsford CSD by News10NBC on Scribd

News10NBC also received a copy of an email that went out to parents Wednesday from the high school principal alerting them that a swastika and the n-word were found written on a classroom table.

Superintendent Michael Pero released a statement Wednesday in regards to the racist symbols and language found on the classroom desk. 

Read the superintendent's full statement to district parents and community members below: 

Dear PCSD Parents and Community Members: 

I wanted to address an incident that was covered in the news on Wednesday about a Mendon High School student finding racist symbols and language on a classroom desk. The abhorrent vandalism was immediately removed. I want to thank the student who reported this situation and express my gratitude to all of our students who are standing up to these types of intolerable acts with determination. We will be working with any impacted students in the coming days to ensure that they are supported. 

Racism, discriminatory actions, and hurtful speech will not be tolerated in our schools. Our administration, faculty and staff are committed to swiftly dealing with all acts of bias that we witness or are reported by others. We are investigating this incident and strong consequences will be administered to the individual who committed this act - if that person can be identified. We need everyone's help with this. Just as we say in other situations, if you see something, say something. 

Society as a whole, including our community, is experiencing heightened expressions of bigotry. These incidents are deeply troubling and hurtful to all, but they are especially cruel to those who are the direct targets of such views. However, we cannot allow the hurtful actions of a few to define us as they do not represent who we are as a District. The engagement of our entire school community over the past several weeks is indicative of that. As I previously communicated to you, the District has developed specific action steps that will be occurring between now and the end of the school year and we will work over the summer to develop long term plans to help ensure a more fully inclusive culture. 

I continue to ask for your help by talking with your child(ren) about actions they can take to foster tolerance and inclusion. This includes speaking out when they witness expressions of hatred and prejudice and also making sure they support their peers. 
While both I and the Board of Education recognize the media interest in our District at this time, when issues arise, our communication will always be first with you. In the same vein, we encourage you to reach out directly to us to share your ideas, views and concerns. 

WHECTV

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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