Melrose Weekly News | Local Headline News
Schools in Violation of Federal Civil Rights Act
Published in the August 28, 2015 edition Following is a press release from Supt. of Schools Cyndy Taymore. Officials would not provide any additional information about the circumstances surrounding the investigation.
MELROSE — In November of 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) notified the Melrose Public Schools that it had opened an investigation into allegations that one of our Melrose Memorial Middle School students had been subjected to harassment based on race in the spring of 2014.
Since the opening of the investigation, the Melrose Public Schools has cooperated fully with OCR’s investigation. Recently, verbal notification was received that OCR has determined that the school district was found to be in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. OCR additionally informed the Melrose Public Schools of its intent to enter into a dialogue with the school district to resolve this matter. At this point, OCR has not provided any written notification or details regarding its determination.
The Melrose Public Schools takes very seriously its legal and ethical obligation to address and redress any instances of discrimination that may have occurred within its schools, and looks forward to this opportunity to work with OCR to continue to improve its practices and to address the moral imperative of providing a safe atmosphere in which all students may achieve their academic potential. It is the explicit goal of the Melrose Public Schools to provide an environment for students in which they may feel safe, flourish, and succeed regardless of their race or other protected status. We intend to work collaboratively with OCR to continue our ongoing efforts to achieve this goal and to comprehensively address any concerns that OCR identifies. Due to the pending discussions with OCR, the Melrose Public Schools will not have any further comment on this matter until after successfully reaching a resolution with OCR.
Can anyone remember the last time our school district was convicted of violating a child's civil rights? And for this we need to give the schools more money? Does anyone else see the hypocrisy of this? Superintendent Taymore and the school committee (minus CKK) should be ashamed of themselves. And now we are suppose to give them more money with the override? Get rid of the current superintendent and the school committee members and you will get more money from the residents of Melrose - until then - do with what you have!
Any who were part of this shameful and harmful thing (administrators, elected officials, attorneys) should be demanded to resign!
The override people had better just fold their tent and find some other thing to do. There is absolutely no validity or credibility in that ballot measure coming from an administration that behaves as obviously it has been behaving. There are far bigger issues that demand our collective attention (and are already consuming our tax dollars). This thing obviously has a life of its own and has been rolling along ominously for a year and a half, with the active suppression by a lot of officials. Now it has rolled into public view, despite a lot of effort to conceal it. Time for a full reckoning. This is really bad.
Yes, Time for a Reckoning.
If our community lets this one slide by, then we really aren't a community at all, or one that deserves anything but the scorn it has earned. Melrose's Hot Zip Code indeed!
Here is a worthy suggestion - I have just requested of the school committee that they revisit Ms. Taymore's performance evaluation, which was just conducted last week - and which they had given her a superlative evaluation (except of course for CKK). They need to take this latest information into consideration given the extensive and expensive legal and financial efforts required to address this civil rights violation. This is the only fair thing to do to restore some of the public trust and dignity that this school committee has lost. If you agree, please send an email to them about this, Their email addresses are noted below.
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I wonder what the Feds will think if the MEF/mommy brigade get Ed O'C (the convicted thief/disbarred lawyer) elected to the SC. I can't believe he has the gall to run. Another reason to vote NO regarding the Override!
Actually it's hard to fathom how someone like M ERD can hold her head up and run again, not only that but continue with the unmitigated arrogance in which she has behaved all along. In the face of all the facts unfolding, she should be so ashamed (if she had any ethics or care about the harm she's been directly part of). They've known about all of the bad legal stuff, the bad educational statistics, and they made sure it all gets concealed. They should be shamed into stepping down, not running again! EoC has always been a shameless opportunist and conman, right out in the open, but Melrose is so dumb in believing these other cons like MERD, CT, KT, CC, DC, and sadly JD also! Look at the collective harm they've caused and it's actually huge. And Melrose just nods and lets them do it. No more!
Here are the exact words of Kristin Thorp chair of our School Committee when I asked to re-open the performance evaluation of Cyndy Taymore since we all just found out this past week that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department found the Melrose school system violated a student's civil rights
Kristin Thorp: "Thank you for your mail. I am not planning to reopen the evaluation. As you saw in the article, very little is known at this time about the finding and the proposed remedy, and it would be very premature to respond at this time. I believe that the evaluations are representative of the member's opinions of the work that has been done, and that is still needed to be done." Translation: I need to protect Taymore as long as I can - since we hired her.
Please remember folks that Thorp has many intimate conversations with Taymore about this event and the school committee has gone into numerous "executive sessions" at their meetings discussing the details of this pending litigation - so Thorp knows a lot about what transpired.
When I challenged her about the veracity of her statement above and the need to hold Taymore accountable in her current performance evaluation, Thorp played dumb and made the following statement: "The entire committee thinks this is important, as do the Superintendent, administrative team and the staff. I do not know yet what time or cost will be involved, as we have not yet heard what the outcome will be. I do not know which people, or for what, they should be held accountable, because again I do not know the actual findings or the proposed remedy, as they are not yet available.I am sure that the committee will discuss the matter with the Superintendent in whatever way is legal and appropriate, when the time comes. At this time there is nothing for us to discuss that would yield a useful outcome." Translation: I am in big trouble and I intend to play stupid for as long as I can!
Meanwhile the city has spent $10's of thousands of dollars already on this case and more money will be needed for the upcoming litigation. Also, unknown to most residents of Melrose, additional civil rights have been filed against the school department and when these cases are made public - the whole school "house of cards" will collapse and then we will finally find out the devious and deceptive nature of our school committee and senior school administration. The Mayor will then have a lot to answer for in the upcoming November elections.
We should all be humiliated that this entire sorry state of affairs has taken place right under our noses. How? Because the vast majority of Melrose residents are either too stupid to understand what's going on, or are too disconnected and self-involved to care.
My Child Made the Honor Roll at Horace Mann School. Horace Mann School Honor Role? Oxymoron.
Still - it's not bad for a level 3 school! Of course it may not be the only level 3 school by the time Taymore decides to head for the hills!
MFD's post: "It seems very inappropriate (grossly concerning, actually) that the superintendent is issuing a "Press Release" about this. "the Melrose Public Schools will not have any further comment on this matter until after successfully reaching a resolution with OCR Where are the Emergency School Committee Meetings?" Where are the open press conferences with the public? Silence and spin is absolutely inappropriate for something of this gravity, though this is entirely predictable for this city administration. Why is anyone allowing the apparently guilty parties to "manage" this going forward? Does anyone else see the large red flags here?
The BOA should be calling an Emergency Meeting, also, and asking why those providing legal counsel did not appropriately address the civil rights issues ."
In response to MFD, those responsible for addressing these violations have committed a more outrageous act: Attacking, intimidating and retaliating against those brave souls who report and file these complaints with the District. That is why the Superintendent, her senior staff and the city solicitor have expended enormous amounts of taxpayer resources allocated for our children's education to protect only themselves.
Is it lawful for a superintendent to instruct a teacher who have bullied a twelve year old middle school girl to file for a harassment protection order against the child in juvenile court the day after the parents advise the District that their child has been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of that teacher's bullying? Is it appropriate for a city solicitor to offer this legal advice to the district?
Is it lawful for an elementary school principal to willingly file a false police report with the school resource officer against parents the day after the parents formerly file a complaint about the inappropriate behavior of an elementary school teacher? Is it lawful for a city solicitor to send intimidating e-mail threats (copied to the chief of police and superintendent)to the parents who request of the principal to remove her false statements from the record? Isn't it the city solicitor's job as the city's liaison to the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission to actually report these illegal activities?
Should these same violators be answering to these complaints? Perhaps you are right that the BOA needs to step in.
The teacher who instigated this, using racial slurs, is no longer with the district.
That teacher was allowed to retire (after several months' paid leave for "high blood pressure"--right!) and a year teaching the same students at the high school, and now collect on our dime when any responsible administrators would have made sure that all appropriate action was taken (it wasn't) and fired that one on the spot. Furthermore, the very ones who allowed and took part in this instead of acting appropriately have cost all of us taxpayers in tens of thousands of dollars hiding it and doing other bad deeds which have led to other cases, also wracking up tens of thousands in bills.
But then you already know this because you are just one of their shills, now, aren't you. Besides, what's a little racism in a town like this anyway. No biggie, right? It's just "those" students anyway, so who cares!
Absolutely correct, followed a while ago by the firing of the teacher who refused her department chair's order to separate students by race - for the uninformed, that's called segregation, which, in case anyone doesn't know, is a direct violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As far as I know, that teacher - the very same teacher who was shut down at a SC meeting by Der Fuhrer Thorpe - hasn't filed a suit yet, but I foresee a massive wrongful termination action by the teacher, and a civil rights violation action by whatever students were singled out coming down the road at us soon. That's going to be a biggie. I'm actually happy about that. I'd gladly pay that settlement if it was the catalyst for ridding ourselves of that gaggle of nitwits on the SC. And still, on and on we go, with more cover-ups, more legal fees, and more exemplary evaluations. This is what happens when you remove checks and balances, which is all putting RD on the SC has accomplished. Instead of investigating the violations, RD is now complicit in them. Look where your never-ending quest for personal power has landed you, you dumba$$.
Let's not lose sight of the point here. The OCR result is confirmation that Racism exists in the Melrose school system and no one in power does anything about it. There was racist tweeting war last year against some of the of color students. At least one letter was written by a student alleging "reverse racism" against her race - whites. I am ashamed to live in this town. And in anticipation of the idiots' response on this Board, guess what? I am not leaving Melrose. I have lived here for many years and the racists don't get to have that much power to force out right minded people who believe in civil rights for all.
The first thing Taymore and her goonies should have done is to be up front about what is happening and explain to the kids (and the other stupid adults) why some Americans of color are upset by what happened. Of course they should have also stood with the child and told the staff and other students that that kind of behavior would not be tolerated. They had the opportunity to enlighten minds and make our community open to all for real. Open discourse is the first step. Instead, they protected that hideous person employed as a teacher who referred to the child and referenced a plantation. Moreover, that was not her first violation. People who have any clue about the high school have stated that the atmosphere at high school is very volatile because Taylor and Dolan and the idiots of that School Committee have done nothing to ameliorate a dangerous situation.
Exhibit A is Chair of the Idiots Thorpe stupid reply to MFD. Her response of she can't do anything because she doesn't know anything is pathetic. First of all, she does. Second, the SC and Thorpe in particular should do something on their own when it has been pointed out by a OCR that there is a problem in Melrose schools and that students are being deprived of their right to public education because of their race. Wait, I guess that is only what decent people do; Not our Mayor or the Superintendent or the school committee. Melrose is stuck in the pre-civil rights age with small minded people who look only to their own interest and not to do the right thing.
I know there are good people in Melrose. Come out, come out wherever your are! Please. By the way, I totally understand why Melrose High School parents cannot lead the charge here. The horrible reality is that these awful people go after our kids. Their number one tactic is to go full throttle at your family and primarily the kids who are at their mercy 8 hours a day. They have perpetuated an atmosphere of racial fear and of kids with white privilege claiming reverse racism because the kids they targeted spoke up for themselves.
What makes this so insidious is that top officials in our city, including the superintendent, assistant superintendent, city solicitor and School Committee chair have made it quite dangerous for your family to file a discrimination complaint, bullying complaint, teacher bullying complaint, teacher abuse complaint,or ANY type of complaint for that matter by making it quite clear that those families filing complaints will pay dearly. This creates a culture of fear that allows and even fosters more bad behavior, because the perpetrators realize they can and do get away it with the protection of the District's storm troopers. While the acts of racism and discrimination against those with learning and physical disabilities are disgraceful, the true crime is the now institutionalized retaliation and intimidation doled out by these same top city officials against those who file complaints. And therein lies The Office of Civil Right's huge failure. They had the opportunity to go after the real problem: Top city officials and School district officials (including certain principals) who routinely violate the law by illegally retaliating against those who file complaints.
MFD is right: These same top administrators who are perpetrators of the illegal retaliation and intimidation should not be answering to the OCR violations. It should be handed over to the Board of Alderman.
Good evening to all, it's about time we have some accountability in this community on how our school system is ran.So how about are school committee are thay doing the job ?
Rhetorical question, no doubt!
"But then you already know this because you are just one of their shills, now, aren't you. Besides, what's a little racism in a town like this anyway. No biggie, right? It's just "those" students anyway, so who cares!"
Cool! I made the "shill" list! My (deceased) mother would be so proud!
But seriously, I would have fired her on the spot. If I had done something like that at my job, I would expect to be fired. I chalk this up to the union rules being more powerful than they ever ought to be.
On the topic of racism in this town... I also feel the current school calendar, which pays lip service to Jewish holidays and fully accommodates christian holidays should accommodate Muslim holidays as well, as we have a burgeoning Muslim population in Melrose.
Does my knowledge of what diversity exists in Melrose make me a shill? Cool. Guess I am.
"I am whatever you say I am." -Eminem
Melrose has a burgeoning Muslim population? Sure...if you say so! Now get some rest!
Was wrong about you "chem". Sorry. Misunderstood what you were saying about the union pres. You are obviously anything but a shill. You can actually think for yourself! You sound like you have real ideas, even integrity! How bout them apples! That makes you truly worthy of commentary in this increasingly messed-up place! Sorry again. Thanks for your commentary. Yes, should have been fired On The Spot. So should the administrators who have perpetrated this outrage on the greater community now but all along on the kids!
Don't fall for the incessant spin of superintendent and principals.