Will someone please post Taymore's statement following Friday's horrible incident?
Everyone needs to listen to the replay of public comment, particularly of the woman educator/Hoover parent who is an expert in social justice work and the gentleman who spoke (also with an education background), once it is posted later tonight:
Once again it's clear that the administration blew it and made many serious mistakes, starting with calling 911 and then releasing the children outside to where the incident was unfolding. The rampant underlying racism in this city meant that a huge over-reaction (police, principal, superintendent....) and actual harm took place for all the children to observe, since an elderly black grandfather was involved.
This deserves serious review by authorities and media beyond this racist burb.
Yes, saw this and it was remarkable. "Mayor Infurna" read a prepared statement (clearly not written by her since she is functionally illiterate) that did not say what happened but blathered on with platitudes instead about how everything was done properly. Clearly not!
Quite amazing that Chair Driscoll managed to control her gavel hand and not pound these intelligent citizens after they exceeded their five minutes (she would obviously have been terrified to do so under the circumstances). She managed to contain herself even when Mr. Mroz sat down to speak, though clearly she was chomping at the bit. Taymore meanwhile looked like her usual disgusted and disgusting self, sighing and looking askance at this nuisance that was interfering with her martinis with Jack.
What an embarrassment and liability this administration is! How many lawsuits will this latest debacle lead to?
The Hoover parents who spoke were extraordinary in their eloquence. This is a new day for Melrose if families like this are now living in what was probably the most racially hostile neighborhood in the city (and might still be, based on how the authorities mismanaged this thing that happened). Melrose is lucky to have such marvelous people now living here, but how sad that they and their children had to experience something so poorly managed (and obviously so racist in the extreme nature of the response). Hoover, FYI, is still the only school that does not have METCO students enrolled, even though it's probably the part of the community that needs it most.
It sounds like an innocent elderly black man needed to use a bathroom (and would have been let into the bldg if he were one of the white goody-two-shoes PTO or Library helper mommies) but probably had to find a tree in the woods (of which there is a plethora up there), which led to a full terrorist alert response from the MPD superheroes who rushed in to save the poor white children from the fearsome monster (not). Gawd! Clearly Melrose has learned a lot since the OCR violations. One can only imagine how this was portrayed in the police report.
WOW, first I'm hearing of this. I will be watching the SC meeting first chance I get; however, nothing surprises me. When it comes to this city and school system, especially in regards to race and cover-ups in lieu of properly investigating violations against protected classes, we are not one any other place would want to emulate.
02:15 Mayor Infurna responds to incident on Friday, Feb. 9, after school, but does not specify what happened, making the response nonsensical.
06:00 Rambling recap by School Committee chair Driscoll of public participation policies, including the pointed "Defamatory remarks about staff Are...Not...Permitted."
06:45 Beth Hampson (Hoover parent, racial justice educator w/ master's in education, restorative justice practioner)
[several pages of a prepared and eloquent statement]
"I share my background because my perception of what happened last Friday at the Hoover School is informed by that background....My stomach dropped when I saw several police officers surrounding an elderly black man. I understand that the man's behavior was questionable and that the safety of the children was the top priority. I believe that everyone had good intentions and did the best possible in the moment Friday. I know no one meant to hurt or harm anyone. However, despite everyone's best intentions, harm occurred.
I want to know that everyone involved in the decision-making on Friday are examining how this could have gone better. Why were the students not held inside until the situation outside was sorted out? Why was the grandchild of the man being questioned dismissed into the chaos, alone, unsupported by an adult?
....I feel strongly that we cannot separate the incident from where we are culturally and politically in this country. To deny the racialized aspect of this situation would be sticking our heads in the sand and a missed opportunity.
The black community suffers deeply from the pervasive and inaccurate portrayals of black men as dangerous. The messaging that has come out since the incident to parents and students alike has implied that the black man being questioned was a danger. He was not. This messaging perpetuates the image of the black man as dangerous.
Additionally, put yourself in the shoes of the granddaughter sitting in the assembly waiting with her peers and hearing the message that her grandfather presented a danger to the school--confusing at the least and potentially traumatizing at the most, certainly embarrassing and potentially damaging towards her self-esteem.
The relationship that the white community has with the police is very different than the relationship that the black community has with the police. The casualness with which we are able to call the police is a privilege that people of color do not have. When people of color, black men especially, interact with police, it often ends with wrongful arrest or even in death. Black children are taught by their parents to avoid police officers, and how to behave if confronted by the police in order to stay safe. A call to the police for those of us unaffected by police violence by virtue of the color of our skin does not have the same potentially dire consequences that the same call has for a person of color. Additionally, for an immigrant from Haiti, as the man confronted on Friday was, a country recently referred to as a $hithole country by our president, with threats of deportation, police interaction is certainly terrifying.
I would argue that casually calling the police on people of color living in our own community is a breach of trust.
I see this incident as an opportunity for this community to acknowledge and examine our privilege--to acknowledge our ability to call the police for protection without fearing for our lives. We need to understand that when we casually exercise that privilege as a form of comfort and safety, it evokes fear and potential danger for black people.
I understand that this may sound dramatic, but after spending time talking honestly and openly about race with my black friends, after listening to the voices of black activitists and journalists, reading the Black Lives Matter platform, ... I have come to understand that this experience and fear is very real. This imbalance in the policing system is what BLM is trying to get the rest of us to understand and work with them to change. There is an urgency to this movement because people of color, especially young black boys and men, are incarcerated at the hands of police at disproportionately higher than other people, fracturing families and communities. Until white communities understand this and work in solidarity to change our communities, we will remain divided. Until we courageously engage in conversations that address these inequalities, we will remain divided. We have been given a gift, and I hope that we will embrace it.
Let's move forward, not by pushing this under the rug, but by staring it in the face and showing that WE have the courage to do what so many before us have not: Engage in real dialogue. What's done is done. As I said, I do believe that everyone was doing what they thought was best. That good intent does not mitigate the harmful impact the incident had on some members of our community. No bodies were hurt, but harm was done. If we really are "One Community Open to All," we will take the time to examine and try to understand the very different perspectives and experiences of the event on Friday with open minds and open hearts. I hope we use this as an opportunity to build understanding, repair and build relationships, and grow into a more inclusive and welcoming community.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this matter."
13:19 Ms. Tim (?) (Hoover parent)
"It all turned out horribly wrong. To just say we checked off the boxes is not enough...."
17:50 Mr. Jerron (?) Green (Hoover parent, education administrator)
"I cannot begin to express how disturbing the after-school pickup spectacle was for myself as an African-American parent in the Hoover School Community and for my child on the afternoon of February 9, 2018. I was disturbed, not only as a disturbed parent, but also as an education administrator, with an earned Master of Education having completed doctoral research on how schools can better themselves, and the relationships they have with parents and families, especially families of color.
The decision to call the police on February 9, whether it was warranted or not, produced a terrible sentiment which was shared by many other parents and children, as we see here this evening. In excess, three police vehicles and multiple police officers arrived to question one elderly gentleman. I was a witness, parked directly behind the elderly gentleman, with a police vehicle parked behind my own, I was almost boxed in. After witnessing this I could not help but get the sense that the same response would not have been garnered if the gentleman did not appear black.
Because there appears to be a lack of leadership at Hoover and a lack of emergency preparedness, my child and other students were dismissed from the building to be witness to police activity. In matters of safety concern, children should not have been dismissed from their classrooms.
Police can be a resource to their community, as we know. However, when students are exposed to police and their higher order of societal discipline in such excessive fashion as on February 9, 2018, there is a fracture in the culture of safety and the sense of community that we share at Hoover. Given the tumultuous history and current disparities of police violence, police presence in school and on school grounds paves the way even slightly for children to feel less safe but more conditioned to police discipline. This is especially true for African-American children and other children of color, including immigrant families. For children of color this further propagates the school-to-prison pipeline and the prejudice that lies at the root. In other words, for children of color the exact opposite of what was intended takes place. The nuances of racism and the culture of prejudice, which is very prevalent in our society at large, are too complex to unpack in one statement. However, if we are to consider the safety and well-being of all students it is necessary for school leadership to take a deep and meaningful look at February 9's events through a cultural lens, not just a policy lens or procedure lens.
While student safety is of utmost concern I would encourage school leadership to develop a more efficient way of dealing with substitutes picking up children, including grandparents, and any questionable circumstances surrounding this issue. Additionally, I recommend that the school community be addressed about the February 9 event. The authoritative tone that came from the response in the email from Superintendent Taymore added insult to injury as it overflowed in ACCUSATORY undertones, slightly incorrect detail, and lacked in ownership of a failed opportunity to repair the breach of culture, the culture of safety and of community that we actually treasure at Hoover. So once again, I encourage school leadership to take a deep and meaningful look at February 9th's events through a cultural lens. I recommend that school leadership become educated on the issue surrounding school policing and how it affects students of color and creates a memorable, if not traumatic for all students. Finally, I recommend that school leadership examine or develop and adhere to safety policies that have all of our children in mind. Thank you."
Without hearing the actual 911 call, it's impossible to form any informed opinion at all about whether the response was appropriate or not. Release the 911 tape.
I would agree though that if the "threat" was so apparent as to require a 911 call, the release of the students from the school never should have happened. The school should have been immediately locked down. If there was a serious threat, in this case outside the school, the students should never have been allowed to exit the building.
Since Columbine, the response policy of police has been "Get there as soon as you can, in force, and take whatever action deemed necessary to contain and control the threat. Figure out the details later.". Nowhere in that response policy does race, age, or gender of the threat factor in.
Again, release the 911 tape. That's the only way we'll ever know exactly what happened.
So many stark examples of gross administrative failures in all of this.
Here is the letter from Taymore:
A message from MELROSE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Dear Hoover Families,
I would like to provide you with an update regarding the incident that occurred on Friday, February 9, 2018 as school was being dismissed.
At approximately 2:10 p.m., a faculty member at the Hoover School reported to the administration that she saw a man exposing himself by urinating outside the school. This occurred right before dismissal time. The man could be seen from outside the kindergarten window, but thankfully it appears that no students saw him. The school leaders followed the established protocols by notifying administration and then contacting the Melrose Police Department and giving officers a description of the individual in question. The police department sent three police cars to the school, and the man was ultimately located.
We have come to understand that the individual in question was at the school to pick up a student, and that while there was no overt attempt to expose himself to minors, the individual’s actions were inappropriate and deeply regrettable. The faculty member who saw the man was correct to notify administration, and administration was correct to notify the police department.
I am grateful that there was no overt criminal intention, and I am pleased that our faculty and staff followed the established protocols. I am personally working with the mayor’s office to understand the level of response by the police department. I sincerely apologize that this situation caused any level of disruption at dismissal time, and I wish to thank our families, students, faculty, and staff for their team work and cooperation on Friday.
Cyndy S. Taymore
Superintendent of Schools
Taymore - "I am personally working with the mayor’s office to understand the level of response by the police department."
Oh, right...throw the police under the bus. What a freaking moron. What did you think their response would be? I for one am grateful they see fit to respond like that to that kind of reported activity at a school. I turned out to be just an error in judgement by one old man, but how were they supposed to know that?
Why on earth would you release the students given what was going on? Your statement says no student saw the actual incident, so no student was traumatized in any way until your people opened the doors and let the kids out right in the middle of it all. Idiot.
Cindy Trymore is trying to cover up that her staff allowed the kids to be dismissed while a report of a man exposing himself was outside the school. Trymore has no understanding on what cops do or how they respond because she is a fool. If it was an actual sex offender and he was caught would she be satisfied? Or would she want a slow response by one officer? This incident had nothing to do with race but rather the action he was taking that looks like was quickly determined by the thorough cop that it was an elderly gentlemen who chose the wrong place to urinate. If this was such a terrible about race then why hasn't the elderly man or his family complained about the Police response? Trymore blew this out of proportion because she is trying to avoid answering why she has not properly trained her staff to keep the kids safely inside the school until the 911 incident that THEY reported is over.
Jesus hit all the talking points there
"Since Columbine, the response policy of police has been "Get there as soon as you can, in force, and take whatever action deemed necessary to contain and control the threat. Figure out the details later.".
Well that is truly weird. Two hours after I posted this, 17 HS students in Florida are killed by a shooter.
Can someone explain to me why a cruiser going the wrong way on a one-way street to get to the school ASAP actually seems to have bothered some people? In retrospect, there appears to have been only one mistake made, aside from the poor judgement of the elderly man - letting the kids out of the building before the incident was resolved.
Finally!!!Someone who finally gets it!!I know I would want a police response ASAP if it was my children in the school. A man urinating outside three k classrooms is not ok. It's absolutely appalling to me that any parent has a problem with this. It's not ok. All involved did exactly what they were suppose to do. Doesn't matter if it was a white man, a black man, or a purple man. Nobody is pointing at the person responsible. At the time, nobody knew if it was a parent, a grandfather, or a stranger. I personally would like to thank all involved, teacher who called, principal who called, and the quick response of the police, I thank you all for thinking of all the children first!!
[ "Yes, saw this and it was remarkable. \\\"Mayor Infurna\\\" read a prepared statement (clearly not written by her since she is functionally illiterate) that did not say what happened but blathered on with platitudes instead about how everything was done properly. Clearly not! "]
Gail's 1st "crisis response" remarks said nothing. Gail will not go off the script written for her. Gail does not think fast on her feet and avoids putting herself on the line at all costs. She will back Taymore and throw the MPD under the bus. The MPD are not happy with Gail "leading" Melrose. The MFD think she is a joke, too. Coverup MPS mistakes again. Melrose is NOT "One Community Open to All". Dolan would be proud!
To the woman who spoke at the school committee mtg. who wanted to be on the " record ." You stated that an exposed penis is not a weapon. Do you really want to be on the "record" saying that to the parents of the kids who have been molested by that local hockey coach recently? Or the Penn State victims' parents? You said why would the police respond the same way to a reported weapon call as a man peeing. One because you already announced it that the police did not know prior to arrival at the Hoover whether it was a pedophile or a man peeing. Thats why. That's why it was called in 911 because nobody on scene knew until the officers showed up because that is THEIR job. All you are doing is humiliating the nice man in the bad situation by making him relive this over and over because you want to create this crazy circus in Melrose. Secondly all you are doing is causing the police to pause in their response in the future and put our kids in REAL harm not your crazy moonbat harm because they are questioned over actions they were totally authorized commensurate and appropriate in doing.
The kids should have been kept inside the school until after the police responded and conducted their investigation. The mistakes were MPS officials who dismissed students when the story/incident was not yet known/resolved. MPS will never be held accountable. Despite the slogan about being "Open to All", Melrose often shows its lack of tolerance by how differences are treated. Skin color, language ability and most of all "differing opinions" which question the status quo are never tolerated. People who are not "on the same page" are excluded by word and deed. Infurna brags about Melrose being the "Center of the World" is well known to stay close to home and avoid being out of her comfort zone. She could barely read what Brigid had written for her to say.
"Why wouldn't C Taymore work personally with the Police to understand the Police response? It appears she has an issue with them that existed before this incident which would explain why she is trying to put up a smokescreen so nobody looks at her failings. "
Because she has many times and from the first weeks of her ugly tenure abused or attempted to abuse authority.
The MPD rightly stopped her in her first month when she tried to file an order of protection against an MHS parent who was rightly concerned about CT allowing 2000 students to return to the MHS and MVMMS buildings when there was still an active gas leak (one had already been cleared, but MFD was still on the scene dealing with a 2nd one). CT tried to threaten a parent who had every right to question her when she ordered all to return to the buildings. The MPD refused to cooperate with CT so she went to the Essex Court (she lives in Salem). The poor father had to give up a day of work and defend himself, which he did well. The judge was outraged with CT and threw the case out along with strong words against her obvious abuse of power. Since that time she and MD have gone to the extent of trying to have civilians arrested for speaking against the SC/CT (the MPD again has stood firm and refused). However, the MPD had no choice in a number of shameful legal (illegal) actions that CT/MPS took against families, getting restraining orders (even against an innocent special needs 10-year-old whose parents simply wanted information about the IEP that clearly wasn't being followed!), getting DFS involved and having children temporarily removed for what turned out to be utterly bogus "reasons" (you can thank KClark, from earlier abusive administrations, for one of those instances of heinous abuses back when she was a SC prez), and in the end destroying families, family finances, and basic trust and good faith in our local government and school system.
MPD has tried to stand strong against this abusive local govt, but there are times when their hands are tied and they must respond according to the laws and regulations when they are called upon. This latest shameful debacle is one where no doubt the MPD followed regulations while the MPS administration clearly did not. Now the grand coverup and dissing (later the threatening) of any questioning/caring citizens is going into overdrive....
I wonder if any of the parents in Parkland Florida think that this was an overreaction. Whipping it out on the grounds of an elementary school is a crime, regardless of race. If they want to later drop the charges, nobody has an issue with that. However simply turn on your television today and you should come to an understanding why there has to be zero tolerance on school grounds.
Indeed, although I would have thought by this time that would have already been evident to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence. Why is it that so many Melrose elementary mommies are so devoid of even a smidgen of common sense? Asshats.
So the rageful know-it-alls posting here about the "on school property" foolishness obviously have little to no idea of the geography up next to the Hoover, which is surrounded by woods that is not at all school property but public conservation land. Sure, the man should not have relieved himself publicly, especially next to a school, but why is there no sanican or facility available for anyone from the public? If this were any of the routine hordes of white boys who take their drunken leaks all over the actual school property and surely "exposing" their overactive firehoses (often just before or after vandalizing the grounds with their broken beer bottles and used condoms), the cry would be it's just "boys being boys as they've done for generations." But because this was an elderly black grandpa from Haiti who didn't know where else to go, these Melrose protectors of children's virtue would probably not think twice about stringing up some rope. What a sick town!
Why did the Hoover School Principal release the students into a group of police officers and the "suspect"? The children should have been kept inside the school and "sheltered in place". Paymore Taymore and Illegitimate Mayor need to address their failings but this is Melrose and so that won't happen. "One Community Open to All" does not include answering questions, owning up to mistakes or apologizing for wrongdoing. Passive aggressive incompetence!
What you don't know anything about, don't speak about.
The man was arms length front and center to three k classroonms with a teacher witnessing the entire issue. We don't care who he is or where he is from, but if he had any marbles he would have gone inside the school just like everyone else. He is lucky he wasn't arrested, or charged with indecent exposure!!! Is it ok for any man to walk around and urinate in public wherever he wants!! Don't speak like an idiot!!!
So let me get this straight. We are outraged to the point we go on local TV because 3 Police officers spoke to and essentially helped a confused black man. We are NOT outraged because half of the 6 yr olds in the school saw a mans penis? Oh I get it now. Let me buy a bigger house in melrose so my brain can get smaller.
Race Discussion At Forefront After Melrose Hoover Incident
The relatively heavy police response to a black man urinating near the elementary school has hit a nerve for many in Melrose.
By Mike Carraggi, Patch National Staff | Feb 15, 2018 7:44 pm ET | Updated Feb 16, 2018 1:51 am ET
MELROSE, MA — On Friday, Feb. 9, just prior to dismissal, police responded to a 911 call at the Hoover Elementary School about an exposed man urinating next to the building. More specifically, three cruisers and several officers responded to a report of an exposed black man urinating next to the building. Those specifics are important. They are what have been driving a conversation on race in Melrose for the last week.
The conversation is fueled by two questions: Was the situation handled properly? Does it even matter that it was? The answers depend on who you talk to.
While city, school, and police officials will tell you it was more or less by the book, many parents have expressed dismay at not only the response, but the lack of acknowledgment that the book itself needs to change.
According to a police report, a letter sent from Superintendent Cindy Taymore to Hoover parents, and witnesses, the incident went like this: On Friday at about 2:10 p.m. a Hoover teacher saw a man urinating in view of a classroom of kindergarten students. The students apparently didn't see the man in the act. The teacher reported it to the administration, and the police were called.
The response included three police cars - including one that rushed the wrong way down one-way Glendower Street to get to the tucked-away Hoover School.
This is where it gets sticky: Some parents were displeased that three cruisers and multiple officers gathered in front of the school for what they said is an older man who essentially chose a very bad place to pee. Other parents were distressed that the students would be dismissed into such a scene.
But many parents were downright incredulous to discover the man who elicited the response was black, and they have openly questioned whether his race had to do with the level of response.
As it turned out, the man, who Patch is not naming as to protect the identity of his granddaughter, was picking up the girl from school. Police were presented with a language barrier, something the girl helped bridge. Officers got the man's son on the phone, and he provided an explanation.
The police report indicated the man may have a related medical condition. No citations were issued or charges filed, though the police report indicates it was agreed by all parties the man would not be picking up his granddaughter anymore.
Was it handled properly?
The answer appears to be, technically, yes.
Mayor Gail Infurna, who opened the School Committee meeting by addressing the incident, said she requested Police Chief Michael Lyle conduct an internal investigation of the incident. That investigation led Lyle to conclude the "Department's response to this incident was reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances," according to a letter obtained by Patch sent from Lyle to Infurna.
"The responding and assisting officers showed no bias toward the involved party, nor did any officer touch or intimate this person," Lyle wrote.
Lyle wrote that he spoke to the officers involved, reviewed the 911 and police dispatch recordings, and viewed the surveillance video before coming to the conclusion.
Lyle doubled down this week, saying the safety of the children was the top concern.
"I commend my officers, they showed professionalism. There was no bias toward this individual other than the fact he was pointed out by a description," Lyle told Patch over the phone. "If that was to happen tomorrow or next week you'd get the same response from the Melrose Police Department. The first words are that someone is exposing himself, and as conversation goes on - he may be just urinating - you don't know. Your emergency and my emergency may be two different thought processes."
Lyle said the initial call didn't have a description of the man or mention of his race. "[The officers] are rolling and then they get the description," he said.
Lyle said the video he reviewed showed the officers handled it professionally, attempting to have a conversation with the man and making no physical contact with him. Once they got more information from the man's son, they began to wrap things up.
"We're still rolling for the unknown," Lyle told Patch. "I'm sorry if some people were offended by it."
Infurna also defended the police response.
"I understand the response by three police cars as well as one of them driving the opposite direction on a one-way street may have frightened those who witnessed it," Infurna told the School Committee. "Please keep in mind that this was a 911 call and the police were responding to a building with over 250 students and teachers. It cannot be stressed enough that our police are typically unaware when responding to a 911 call how potentially dangerous or unsafe a situation may be."
Taymore did not have comment when reached by Patch, though she did say Infurna's statement regarding Taymore's assessment that Hoover staff "followed all protocols and procedures for such an incident" was correct.
Is it a big deal?
Jaron Green has a unique perspective of the incident.
Green, a minister, is closing on his doctorate in Education from Northeastern. He's been a social worker and a family therapist, working intimately with people of all different races. He's also the father of one of two black girls in his daughter's third-grade class - the other being the man's granddaughter.
He was also about one car removed as the scene unfolded Friday.
"The decision to call the police ... whether it was warranted or not, produced a terrible sentiment," Green told the School Committee Tuesday and the Human Rights Commission Wednesday.
"After witnessing this, I cannot help but get the sense that the same response would not have been garnered if the elderly gentleman had not been described as black."
Green, who said the incident prompted him to apply Thursday for one of the open positions on the Human Rights Commission, told Patch he heard from parents who felt the same way. He said officials' response shows the width of a gap that must be bridged.
"I just think there was a complete lack of cultural competence in this scenario, and that's where the harm was done," Green said over the phone. "It was a definite breach to the culture of safety. The image that is portrayed is that a black man is dangerous and this is the response warranted even when you don't know what's wrong."
Green said the incident occurred more or less as reported by police and school officials. He also said Principal Carol Weldin asked his daughter who she was going home with while the man's granddaughter wandered alone after seeing no one in her family's parked vehicle.
"There are two black girls in the class, my daughter and another girl. She stopped my child. Is it because all black people look alike? That's a leadership problem in a small school."
Green said Weldin offered to meet him after he sent an email to the principal and Taymore. Green agreed, but he said he was told he couldn't meet at the same school other parents - white parents - had met with Weldin to discuss concerns. He said he was told the meeting had to take place with Taymore and at her office.
"The nuances of intimidation, and the layers of prejudice prevalent in our current society-at-large are too complex to unpack in one statement," he said at the Human Rights Commission meeting.
Beth Hampson, herself a former teacher and now a racial justice educator and co-facilitator of the White People Challenging Racism class in Melrose, has three children who attend the Hoover. She was approaching the school when she saw the cruiser come the wrong way up Glendower.
"I know the incident was not driven by intentional racial bias. I feel strongly however that we cannot separate the incident from where we are racially and politically in this country," Hampson said to open public comment at the School Committee meeting. "To deny the racialized aspect of this situation would be sticking our heads in the sand and a missed opportunity."
Hampson echoed Green's feeling that harm was done, even if it couldn't be seen.
"This messaging perpetuates the image of the black man as dangerous," she said.
"The relationship the white community has with the police is very different than the relationship the black community has with the police."
Where do we go from here?
For as inclusive a city as Melrose is, there were less than 900 black residents as of the 2015 Census. That was out of more than 27,000 residents. That's roughly three percent.
So maybe policy was followed. Maybe procedure was strictly adhered to. But the discussion has to go beyond that, Adam LaFrance said.
"It's not so much trying to find fault, but is there an opportunity to discuss this, unpack it," LaFrance told Patch before he chaired Wednesday night's Human Rights Commission meeting.
After the meeting, which saw several people share concerns, LaFrance said he hopes more conversation will follow.
"On the whole, there was general appreciation for the protocol that was followed yet constructive feedback on aspects at the school level on which there might be some adjustments made going forward," he said. "The anticipation is that the conversation will continue among the interested parties to see what can be worked out."
"The arc of justice must bend," Green said at the Wednesday meeting. "Through difficult, honest, deep and meaningful discourse, our town government, including school leadership, has to be able to admit when harm has occurred. To only stubbornly respond that everything was done perfectly right is a proud, pompous disposition. To not be willing to view conflicts through a cultural lens negates the opportunity for learning and deepened mutual respect."
The ACLU of Massachusetts was not aware of the incident when reached by Patch.
Everything happened exactly as it should. The police responded quickly; recognized it was not a serious situation, let the gentleman leave and life carried on. There is nothing that SJW's hate worse is than when things go smoothly and they cannot climb on their soap box. This is absurd. To all the SJW's that recently moved to Melrose, please ask yourself why you chose a city of 27,000 that has less than 900 black residents. Its been said here before and should be said again...scratch a liberal and find a racist.
Your nonsensical hysterics fool nobody. We can have a conversation about this. It should go something like this. "Hey MPD, great job on the quick response. Hey Dude, no more peeing on school property." Conversation done.
"Scratch a liberal and find a racist" and "ask yourself why you chose a city of less than 27,000 thst has less than 900 black residents" says all we need to know about you Hmmmm. You haven't an inclination of what it's like to be standing in another person's shoes especially when those shoes aren't your particular shade of color.
Honestly, to claim that the response would have been different had the man not been a black man is absolutely astonishing and completely ridiculous. The response would have been exactly the same had the man been white, brown, yellow, red, or even green, purple, or orange. To attempt to turn this into some kind of racial incident is sickening and disgusting, and I find the social justice warriors' comments and assertions equally disgusting. I would remind all that less than one hour after the beginning of this incident, seventeen innocent people lay dead in and around a Florida high school. The potential for that kind of tragedy was what the police were responding to, and I can only speculate on what the SJW's comments would have been if the police had taken their sweet time getting there while a real tragedy was occurring.
As my mother used to say all the time "It's better to be safe than sorry." In truth, the race of the man was not even included in the initial report, and the police response had already commenced when that fact was revealed. The man's race had nothing whatever to do with it. Tell you what - if you're so distressed that a cruiser went the wrong way down a one-way street to get to the school and protect your child from whatever threat, if any, may have existed, seal yourself into a 50 gallon drum and go plant yourself into the middle of Glendower Rd like those idiots did on the Expressway several years ago. Then you can attempt to explain your twisted sensibilities to a judge at Malden Court.
Do actions speak louder than words? That is the true question here. We are very upset about the words here rather than the actions of the man were questionable. The words here and on the school committee meeting just cause more pain and create a sense of a fictitious issue that is not prevalent in this situation. It just seems that people are just sitting back trying scream yell and taunt until they get what they want. If you look at the patch article there is a nonsensical video taken. Why? Because of the big bad conversation with the police? Or because the person in the car was just Hoping to get a snipet of impropriate behavior? It makes no sense. If you were Sooooo concerned about you child's welfare than why weren't you out of your mv making sure whoever the cops were talking to could not get close to or even seen by your child? Rather you just keep video taping. I only fear what you would've done if the guy had a knife. That's ok stay in your car you would get a great video of the kids running away. Great job Dad!!! I'm changing my name from Psych 101 to parenting 101.
The responses to this incident concluding that race played a factor in the PD response is beyond laughable. Race had nothing to do with it. A person was seen relieving himself in full view of an elementary school. It was reported. The police took appropriate action. No arrest was made. No citations were given.
The social justice warriors in this town need some serious counseling and introspection.
Beth Hampson, mother of three Hoover students and local co-facilitator for the group White People Challenging Racism said "I would argue that casually calling police on people of color living in our own community is a breech of trust."
Casually calling police? Because a man exposed himself in full view of a bunch of school kids? That's casually calling police?
Jaron Green, another Hoover parent said “I could not help but get the sense that the same response would not have been garnered if the elderly gentleman did not appear black.”
I submit to you, Mr. Green that the only racism displayed during the entire incident was yours. Shame on you.
Ugly Melrosian is a typical liberal that is hoping for a violent tragedy to happen so they can jump right up and start lecturing the rest of us.
Let's hope SJW's like this never get their way. However, if something bad ever does happen it is good to know that the MPD stands ready to act.
BTW...Trump is a fool.
The school districts are not allowed to let anyone in after school. This is not a race issue, or a Trump is a Fool issue. It is Black Life Matter issue. The ideological problem with Black Lives Matter. If we collectively discourage, rather than encourage, racial discrimination, the systemic disadvantages that Blacks continue to face. Americans have suffered. But when BLM actively decides to promote the same kind of oppression in reverse it is both counter-productive and disgusting.
As a person who worked for the school district for over ten years until recently I'd like to add this. Superintendent Taymore has a strict rule that employees are not to let people in unless they have official school business. You feel bad when a kid has to use the bathroom when they play outside after school but understand the policy for safety reasons. That being said, as a former FT employee at 5 schools pre-hs, and a person who worked all schools in the after school and summer programs, staff let people in to use the bathroom, collect the things their kids forgot, there are some sports activities like basketball where people come in you don't know but belong say to a basketball team. So, many, many people are let in the schools, some with strict guidance, some with barely any attention to what they are doing. Now that that is clear I want yo point out that this incident was NOT during after school hours but near the end of the school day.
Are some of you people insinuating it's okay for someone to whip out their penis and relieve himself in front of classes full of children?
Yes, the police are supposed to respond to that, and a police car speeding - I hope it was speeding - to the scene is a perfectly valid response whether the perpetrator was black, white, or paisley.
There are woods there, much of which do not provide the children (and teacher) with a sight they can't unsee.
One does not have to understand English, nor be a white person, to comprehend that. Are you saying black people aren't intelligent enough to understand this age-old social more? I'm going to also posit that such behavior is frowned upon in whatever this gentlemen's nation of origin is.
Finally, if the gentleman is a victim of early stage dementia - as has been suggested - why is he picking up a child?
Good job MPD, keep up the good work. Sorry the stupid people can't get the joke.
This is totally insane. A man was urinating near a school while in session. To be candid, he should have been arrested and let the judge down at MDC dismiss charges if there was a medical emergency or possible dementia. If this was a 20 year old kid picking up a younger sibling, I can almost guarantee they would have been cuffed.
The responses from people claiming racism , etc should be deeply concerning. When we study history and see events such as the Khmer Rouge, Bolshevik's , etc coming to power, it's always started by a group of people with a whacked out view of the world. Many of us crave for a normal and orderly society. Melrose used to offer this. Most of the residents were down to earth, hard working citizens who wanted a nice place to raise a family.
The city has almost a dystopian feel to it now. I always wished I could sit down and talk with hard-core SJW's to find out what they truly envision for a society. I honestly do not think they could articulate what they truly want the world to be as their view is illogical. If someone is truly upset about the cops speaking to a guy for taking a leak next to a school, there has to be other issues going on and this is merely a surrogate for the real issues that are causing such anger.
I know many of my posts are sprinkled with sarcasm. Therefore, I will close with us trying to organize a candle light vigil down at Ell Pond to show solidarity after this tragic incident. We can have people holding signs, crying saying " this is not who were are".
I encourage everyone to really give some thought as to why SJW's are so upset over this. After watching the school committee meeting video, it's clear many people have very comfortable lives and thus free time to educate others on their privilege. These people were holding back tears saying there was no threat, " I have consulted with my black friends" and a few shots at Trump for what he said about Haiti. Its sounds like they are simply trying to outdo each other with altruism. Are these people really so weak they think Melrose is a dangerous place to live? What would happen to these SJW's had they been born catholic in west Belfast during the troubles?
Highly educated with too much time and money. These people really are privileged.
What should the response have been? Not get the police involved and explain to the kid's the grandfather is doing what is his cultural norm and we should respect that? It's a valid question these SJW's should answer. What should have been done differently?
This could almost be an episode of South Park.
It's clearly a case of penis envy.
Thank you to Hoover staff and thank you to the MPD for the way this was handled. To say this is racist is unbelievable. Ridiculous. If anyone does this in public they are usually arrested for indecent exposure ! Too many comitees, commissions, blah blah blah. Miss my old Melrose 😕
This article is perfect.
It is perfect. First we have Mr. Green, a professional race-baiter - Melrose's own Al Sharpton (is this your Tawana Brawley, Mr. Green?). He has no interest in solving the race issue - he makes his living off it. Then we have Ms. Hampson, who moves to so-called "lily-white" Melrose and spends a lot of her time ******** about it. She's a psuedo SJW. I wonder if she'd call the cops if a white guy took a dump on her front lawn? These phonies are not part of the solution. They're part of the problem.
From Morgan Freeman - "You want to end the race problem in America? Stop talking about it. You stop calling me black, I'll stop calling you white, and we'll just call each other people instead." A little simplistic perhaps, but maybe he's onto something.
Couldn't have said it any better!!I too miss the old Melrose!!!
And the last several posters demonstrate that racists are still amongst us here in Melrose. I guess they don't ever change, they just fade away.