Administration at Hampton School District (SAU 90) approached John Guilfoil Public Relations in March 2019 looking for crisis communications services amidst allegations of racial bullying against a former student. The story gained significant attention from local and regional media and ultimately an investigation was opened regarding the situation by the Office for Civil Rights, part of the United States Department of Justice.
JGPR promptly connected administration with an independent investigator who conducted a review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation over the coming months and provided the district with recommendations moving forward to prevent such a series of events from happening again.
By facilitating the administrative review, JGPR was able to assist the district in better understanding the facts of what had taken place, and what measures could be taken to improve its policies, procedures and training moving forward. The review provided a transparent account of the situation and ultimately the investigator found that bullying had taken place and that there were improvements the district could make. JGPR assisted the district in issuing a press release announcing the completion of the review in January 2020, which was made available to the public with only legally mandated redactions.
This transparency reinforced the district’s commitment to reviewing what had happened and its dedication to doing right by its students, families and the broader community. The district began implementing diversity training, adjusted its mission statement and made other changes even prior to the completion of the review in an effort to better promote inclusion and diversity.