Statement of Dover Superintendent William Harbron

Dover School District
William R. Harbron, Superintendent
61 Locust Street,
Suite 409,
Dover, NH 03820

For Immediate Release

Friday, Jan. 18, 2019

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Statement of Dover Superintendent William Harbron

DOVER — The following is a statement from Superintendent of the Dover School District William Harbron:

“On Nov. 30, an incident occurred in a Dover High School classroom in which students expressed racial insensitivity while giving an oral presentation as part of a classroom assignment.

“In addition to deeply affecting all those involved, this incident has had a profound impact on the Dover community.

“An investigation into the matter has concluded and students and staff members have been notified of the outcome. While federal and state confidentiality laws prevent us from releasing the report, we feel that it is important to share next steps with the community.

“The teacher of the class where the incident occurred, John Carver, will remain on paid administrative leave for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year as he has committed to engage in an intensive course of study on issues pertaining to race, bias and privilege. Once that is complete, he is expected to return to his duties as a classroom teacher and coach next fall.

“In addition, as part of an initiative that began last summer, district wide training will be administered to all administrators, faculty and staff members on issues pertaining to race, privilege and bias in the school community in the 2019-2020 school year.

“We are committed to preventing an incident like this from ever occurring again at our schools. The district deeply regrets that this incident occurred, and we acknowledge the harm that words, symbols and actions can cause, especially when offered without the proper educational framework and context.

“Dover High School faculty and staff have worked continuously with our students and community members throughout the course of this process to ensure that students feel safe and valued in their classrooms and among their peers. The district has notified the Anti-Defamation League of the incident and has formed a steering committee made of school and community representatives, along with the NAACP to address future educational programming.

“We recognize that these efforts must be ongoing, and we will continue to make resources available to assist and support students and employees alike. As superintendent, I also wish to express my sincere gratitude to the entire DHS faculty and staff for their commitment to equality and student well-being in this challenging time.”