The morning of Thursday, January 30, a meeting was held at West Woods School to discuss the incident that occurred in a 5th grade classroom. This meeting included members of my administration, the parents who brought the issue to our attention, representatives of the NAACP, a representative of the Board of Education, and a handful of supporters of the family. The purpose of the meeting was to review major points that would be discussed with the 5th grade students later in the morning.
The meeting with the students was attended by myself, the Assistant Superintendent, Director of Social Studies, the school principal and a representative of the Board of Education.
Prior to my arrival to the school, I became aware through social media sites that a group of individuals would assemble outside the school and that media outlets could be present as well.
As is our practice whenever larger than normal and/or an undetermined number of people are expected at one of our schools, I contacted the Chief of Police and asked for one or two officers to assist with extra traffic and the flow of student arrival. As the meeting was about to begin, it was pointed out to me that five or six police cars were on site. I immediately called the Chief of Police to request that the additional officers leave the grounds, and they did so immediately. The Chief of Police explained to me that the presence of additional officers had been the result of a miscommunication between his staff and him.
It was never my intent for so many officers to be on the premises. I apologize for the larger-than-necessary police presence.