What’s going on at this Sussex County, NJ, school?
A series of letters and e-mails to parents in a Sussex County school district alludes to one of more bias incidents, but administrators are refusing to say what happened.
"High Point Regional High School is aware of student reports of homophobic, transphobic, anti-Semitic, and racist comments made by students," the letter states, "all of which we are addressing and attempting to remedy."
The letter was from school principal Jonathan Tallamy, but did not include any details about what happened or when. Five day earlier, a letter told parents there were “several incidents of inappropriate behavior.”
We recognize that there are divisive, destructive, and hateful elements in the broader global community impacting our students. We also recognize the responsibility that schools and families have in educating our students on how to treat each other respectfully and ensure a safe school community for all. We want the High Point family to reflect and respect all its members; we are responsible for ensuring that every student is safe and affirmed at school. - Jonathan Tallamy, Principal, HPRHS
On Tuesday, Tallamy sent a notice to parents about "a student safety concern," but again did not elaborate. He said school security staff "investigated the claim," but provided no details.
October 22 was the first letter to parents alluding to something going on in the high school, but it was also short on details. It did, however, tell parents and students that "capes, large flags, and other excessively long blanket-type attire" were not allowed.
"We recognize that there are divisive, destructive, and hateful elements in the broader global community impacting our students," said Tallamy in his latest letter, and promised to work to ensure that "that every student is safe and affirmed at school."
The letters to parents say whatever happened was, and likely still is, being investigated, but it apparently did not trigger a police response. NJ.com reports state police did not respond to any recent incident at the high school. They did investigate anti-Semitic graffiti found at the school in 2019.
For now, there are only rumors and innuendo being circulated on social media, but no specific incident has been confirmed by school or local government officials, and it’s not clear if any students have been disciplined.
The letter to parents notes there are counseling resources available to any family that needs it.