Monday, March 30, 2015

Allentown Faithbased Community Group say 'racial toxicity' alive in Allentown School DistrictBy Edward Sieger | The Express-Times

'Racial toxicity'

The Rev. Benjamin Hailey Sr. -- with Union Baptist Church and speaking on behalf of the Lehigh Valley Solidarity Foundation -- said community leaders understand that the incident involving the teacher was not an isolated one. He issued a list of demands, including that the school board and administration acknowledge what he called a "racial toxicity" that exists within the district.

Hailey began naming black and Hispanic administrators that community leaders feel were the subject of "racial micro-aggressions," prompting school board President Robert Smith to ask him not to name individuals.

Before being gaveled down, Hailey mentioned former administrators Shannon Mayfield and Jose Rosado.

Mayfield, William Allen High School's first black principal, resigned in June 2013 after just one year on the job. Mayfield said he had found the superintendent unprofessional and disrespectful and could not continue because of a lack of trust.

Rosado, who resigned in December, is suing the district over allegations officials retaliated against him for raising concerns about how the district handled minority students. Rosado, who oversaw the district's alternative education programs, claimed principals from other buildings routinely referred minority students to the alternative education program as disruptive, despite failing to meet standards required for transfer.

Hailey asked that the district agree to create a dialogue among teachers, clergy, parents, students, other community members and administrators who, as a group, have the authority to create an ongoing race and equity training plan

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