NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — After a week of fallout, the New Haven Superintendent of Public Schools is standing by her decision to demote and transfer a principal accused of using a racial slur. And, we heard from the principal in question for the first time.
Superintendent Dr. Iline Tracey released an investigative report conducted by the school district into the incident in which Laura Roblee used the N-word in a conversation with her staff members.
The multi-page report details the investigation and the substantiated claims from two teachers at Brennan Rogers Magnet School that recount the moments when Roblee reportedly took offense with the term ‘whiteness’ at a bias training back in March, comparing the word whiteness to the N-word.
Roblee is now set to be transferred and demoted to a position at central office, but community members are still taking issue with how the investigation unfolded.
The decision still not sitting well with community members who say there was not enough transparency on the matter from the superintendent or the mayor who supported the vote.
“How is she going to lead this district with this cloud of smoke over her head and over this city and over education,” asked Reverend Boise Kimber, President of the Greater New Haven Clergy Association. “There is still a great concern in reference to why this principal saw the need to use the n-word more than one time.”
Fast forward to Monday, Dr. Tracey read an apologetic statement from Roblee – the first we’re hearing from the now demoted principal – recounting what she said.
“I stated something to the effect that if I said Blacks or the N-word we would have an issue with it. That was the end of the conversation,” Roblee stated in the letter. “I realize that I did something wrong and I understand there has to be consequences. I wish I could take it back and find a logical reason why it came out of my mouth. I’m horrified, disgusted and embarrassed.”
Read the full letter from Principal Laura Roblee below:
Dr. Tracey said her punishment matched the consequence she handed down.
“Had the principal said the word directly to an individual like calling the individual the word, It would be a different story,” Dr. Tracey said.
Dr. Tracey said Roblee’s training will continue as she takes on a new position at central office. That position has not yet been announced.
The New Haven clergy is expected to hold a news conference to discuss the school district’s investigative report Tuesday morning.