NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Parents and community members in New Haven are still going to bat with the Board of Education, asking for more to be done after a principal was demoted for using a racial slur.
A Board of Education meeting was held Monday night. For more than an hour, parents and community members discussed the situation surrounding former principal Laura Roblee’s use of a racial slur earlier this year.
Several weeks of outrage were on display at Monday’s meeting. Many parents were not letting up, hoping more action is taken against the now demoted Principal Roblee.
They want accountability, and they’re calling for the trauma at Brennan Rodgers School to be addressed before the new school year starts and before the superintendent appoints a new principal.
An anonymous parent said, “With the outcry for an investigation by staff, parents, and students, I feel like it is your duty to launch a new investigation and give the community what it’s asking for.”
Roblee was demoted and transferred to Central Office after an investigation revealed she used the N-word after a diversity training in front of a couple of her staff members. She was reported and subsequently placed on paid administrative leave. She’s now set to take a new role in the fall at the School Department, but many parents say that consequence is just a free pass.
Mr. Williams, a New Haven parent said, “Y’all are not going to. So what y’all do? Disrespect us and act like our voices don’t count.”
Parents and community members say they plan to take their concerns to the next level.
Najije-Ife Waters, of Citywide Parent Group, said, “It is time now to start filing complaints against our district, against our mayor, we need to now escalate this…I think it’s time to go to the state now. Stop dealing with these people; they don’t care.”
Board members New 8 spoke with who voted against the demotion of Principal Roblee say an apology is owed.
Dr. Tamiko Jackson, a New Haven Board of Education member, said, “First and foremost the community needs the offenders to say ‘I did this and I’m sorry.’ You know? That goes a long way for them to not have had any kind of communication that validated their feelings. The only person whose feelings have been validated was the person that was removed.”
Others sounding off on the Board leadership.
“Racist slurs are not slips of the tongue. If only we had a district where there was no need to protest because we all worked for the betterment of children.”
Mayce Torres, a New Haven parent added, “No one’s job is secure other than that of a parent. You don’t get to ever stop being a parent but your positions as leaders, if you don’t do it right, you won’t stay one.”
A new principal was voted on Monday. Kimberly Daniley is set to take over Brennan Rodgers School in the fall.
News 8 reached out to Superintendent Dr. Illene Tracey and Mayor Justin Elicker for comment and we have not heard back.