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Investigation Finds Boston Latin 'Did Not Adequately Investigate' Racial Slur

BOSTON (CBS) – School officials have completed an internal investigation into claims of racism raised by students at Boston Latin School, finding that in one case the school did not properly investigate a student's reported actions.

The Boston Public Schools' Office of Equity said on Thursday it found seven reported incidents involving race and ethnicity between November 2014 and January 2016.

Officials found that internal policy was violated in one of those incidents when a student was accused of using a racial slur and making a threat.

In that incident, the review finds that Boston Latin administrators "did not adequately investigate the incident, did not adequately discipline the student, nor take appropriate steps to ensure the support and safety of the targeted student."

Read: Boston Latin School Investigation Executive Summary

"Racial intolerance should never be accepted in any Boston public school," said BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang about the report's findings.

"This is deeply personal to me as someone who had similar experiences growing up as an immigrant in the United States. I am fully committed to ensuring that no student should ever feel unsafe in any of our schools. BLS must take a critical examination of itself, in particular around issues of race and culture."

The investigation came in response to accusations from a group of students called Black Leaders Advocating for Change and Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K.). The students claimed the administration failed to protect students who brought concerns of racism to the headmaster's office.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that he accepts the results of the investigation.

"I guess I am am satisfied, but I'm not pleased," Walsh said. "I'm not pleased in this whole situation that these young people had to speak up the way they did. They're unbelievable, they're great. I commend them for doing this and I gave them my word that we're going to stay very diligent on this so no other student has to experience what they experienced."

Following its internal investigation, the Office of Equity asked Boston headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta and others in the school to put into place a racial climate audit before the end of the school year.

"Our kids should not have to put up with any of this type of nonsense," Walsh added.

Officials are also asked to launch dialogues on race with the school community, with B.L.A.C.K. members involved in the discussions. School officials will also work with the district to increase the hiring of black and Latino teachers for the 2016-17 school year.

Kenneth Grooms, a civil rights attorney in the Boston area, reviewed the Office of Equity's findings and reccomendations.

"I believe the Boston Public Schools conducted a thorough and comprehensive investigation," Grooms said. "It is encouraging to see the district begin to make deep structural shifts toward an inclusive climate for all."

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker reports


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