NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s been days since that controversial New Haven Board of Education vote, and community members are not letting up.
The vote approved by the board on Monday confirmed the transfer and demotion of Principal Laura Roblee of Brennan-Rodgers Magnet School, accused of using a racial slur.
But community leaders say that is not enough.
Dori Dumas with the Greater New Haven Chapter of the NAACP is calling the measure simply unacceptable, adding she has been inundated with calls and messages from community members who say the transfer and demotion of this particular educator to another school is just a pass.
Critical of Superintendent of public schools Dr. Iline Tracey and Mayor Justin Elicker, Dumas said more needs to be done to rectify a painful situation.
“It’s unacceptable, there’s no place for it, it should be zero tolerance. We were looking to the superintendent and the mayor to come out stronger and to say it was just a slip of the tongue is unacceptable,” said Dori Dumas, President of the Greater New Haven Chapter NAACP. “We need to value our students. Black Lives Matter is not just something you say but what about the students, what about the parents. What message are you sending?”
She was placed on administrative leave and is now set to serve as an assistant principal at another city school here in New Haven. While Superintendent Tracey and Mayor Elicker have doubled down on their support of this transfer, the NAACP is firing back — calling on the leaders of the city and the board to reconsider.
Dori Dumas, President of the Greater New Haven Chapter NAACP said, “Just to move someone who is still going to have a leadership role to another school, how are the students to look at this assistant principal now? How can they respect her if they know she does not respect them?”
Other community members on the board are outraged and shocked over what many are calling a simple slap on the wrist.
One parent, Elizabeth Yarbrough said, “It’s not acceptable for her to go to any other school after using that kind of language.”
“I’m not going to allow anyone to come into my community to use any type of racial epithets against any child, teacher or parent,” said Alderwoman of the 30th ward, Honda Smith.
News 8 has reached out to Dr. Tracey for comment on this community backlash she’s receiving and she tells us she stands by her decision.
Superintendent Dr. Tracey sent in a quote Wednesday night that reads:
We are pleased that we have resolved this situation amicably and counsel on both sides help to inform the final decision. The principal will be serving as an assistant principal and not at the same salary as principal. She will be a 10 month rather than a 12-month employee. She has subjected herself to further trainings and will work to repair any harm done to those involved
We’ve also again attempted to reach principal Laura Roblee but have yet to hear back.