Transfer of principal accused of using racial slur approved by New Haven Board of Ed

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A New Haven school principal accused of using a racial slur and on paid leave will be transferred to another school in the district and will be demoted, the Board of Education decided Monday evening.

According to the Board of Ed., Principal Laura Roblee of Brennan-Rodgers Magnet School has been investigated for her alleged use of the N-word. She allegedly used the word in a private conversation in reference to a diversity and anti-racist workshop, in which she and other staff members at the school participated.

The Board of Education decided her fate Monday night, voting 4-3 to transfer her to another school in the city; the location of her transfer is yet to be determined. Board members said Roblee will be demoted to assistant principal.

The motion passed, but not without heated debate and argument during the Zoom meeting.

Board of Ed. members got in heated discussion after the scathing details were revealed in both an executive session and public comment session Monday night.

Superintendent Dr. Ilene Tracey said the alleged use of the N-word led to an investigation, and Human Resources and council brought in for both parties involved ahead of Monday’s meeting. She doubled down saying that Roblee deserves a second chance instead of severe punishment. She called the principal’s use of the N-word a “slip of the tongue.”

“I don’t think it’s in the best interest of any of us – be it Board member or public – to destroy a person’s life over a slip of the tongue or something they said in private to someone else even though it came out in public,” Dr. Tracey said.

The decision has some community members and Board members upset, however.

Dr. Tamiko Jackson-McCarthur, a New Haven Board of Education Member, said, “This offense was substantiated. The fact that it was substantiated, a simple re-assignment is not the answer. It’s not the answer. We haven’t seen what the complete intervention is, what it will be. The central office might have been better than to send her to another school. This offense was substantiated, and we have not addressed that, we’ve not addressed how we are apologizing to our community because this is traumatizing to know that this is a principal that oversaw your children, your school you send your kids every day to use that word?”

There were two notable votes at the meeting. Both Mayor Justin Elicker and Board of Ed. President Yesenia Rivera votes ‘yes’ in favor of the superintendent’s personnel recommendations.

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