Saucon Superintendent: ‘Ethnic Intimidation and Bullying Are Taken Very Seriously’

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The superintendent of the Saucon Valley School District said Monday she is aware of the incident in which a 16-year-old student allegedly assaulted a 14-year-old student at the Homecoming Pep Rally Oct. 14, and that she is limited in what she can say about it because it involves a student disciplinary incident.

According to police, the incident was precipitated by the posting of a video in which the 14-year-old allegedly directed “racist verbal remarks” at the 16-year-old.

“I am aware of the incident and that the investigation of the incident and subsequent actions were handled promptly, appropriately and professionally by district administrators,” Supt. Dr. Monica McHale-Small said in an email. “Ethnic intimidation and bullying are taken very seriously and I have been very direct with district administration about the seriousness of all bullying allegations but very especially about racially motivated incidents.”

McHale-Small acknowledged that “there is work to be done to ensure an equitable, supportive and emotionally safe environment for all of our students in Saucon Valley School District” and said, to that end, she has worked with Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy and faculty from Lehigh University and the University of Pennsylvania to develop the Greater Lehigh Valley Consortium for Equity and Excellence–a group that meets monthly to promote “a process to address equity issues.”

The mission of the GLVCEE, according to a document shared by McHale-Small, is “to ensure equity and access to educational services to transform the lives of all students, especially diverse and disadvantaged students who have historically been underserved in educational institutions.”

“The district will continue to work through the consortium and with other consultants and resources to continue to build the capacity of our faculty and staff to deal effectively and proactively with bullying and behaviors which result in any student feeling unsafe or not valued for who they are,” McHale-Small said.

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