RANDOLPH, NJ - Recent discussion of a bias incident at Randolph Middle school led Board of Education President Al Matos to make a statement assuring the community that appropriate action was taken and counseling is available to students. While the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office investigates, details of the incident will not be released.
Matos continued by explaining that Superintendent Jennifer Fano and RMS Principal Dennis Copeland have a responsibility “to provide a diverse, inclusive education to all of our children, and to foster acceptance of those students.”
Copeland also sent a letter to the parents and staff stating, “As a member of the RMS community, I want you to be completely aware and informed that bias, intimidation and harassment have no place at Randolph Middle School.
According to Matos, once the staff became aware of the issue, they responded correctly by referring the incident to the Randolph Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. However, they “are unable to provide additional specific details about the incident or the individuals involved because of the ongoing investigation.”
Matos referenced the Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Policy 5512 which ensures students will not be discriminated against.
He also mentioned Policy 5755 stating, “students shall be given equal and bias-free access to all district facilities, educational programs and advantages.”
In Copeland’s letter, he outlined several options to work towards eliminating harassment, such as “report to the Randolph Police Department or Randolph Middle School personnel any oral, written, or physical acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying that are targeting an individual or a group.”
He also encouraged parents to support educators as they teach students about appropriate behaviors and to talk to their children about the harm caused by hate displayed in any form.
The middle school will continue to hold forums discussing bias intimidation and harassment, Copeland said. The letter closed with the RMS vision, “Individuals treat others the way they want to be treated.”