The Harwood Unified Union School District Board issued a statement on September 18, 2020, to the effect that an investigation into whether district superintendent Brigid Nease had failed to respond adequately to a racist incident concluded that the charges were unsubstantiated.

Caitlin Hollister, board chair, and Torrey Smith, board vice-chair, issued this statement on September 18.

"The board learned of allegations that the superintendent failed to properly respond when she learned of an incident involving use of racial epithet by one student directed at another. We concluded that the seriousness of the allegations warranted an external and independent investigation. The investigator issued a report on September 11, 2020, finding that the charges were unsubstantiated and that there was no wrongdoing by the superintendent. We now consider the matter closed."



Asked about specifics of the allegations, Hollister said the allegation came last spring in a Front Porch Forum post from a parent. It involved an incident from 2016 with elementary school students. The investigation was conducted by Atty Ellen Coogan.

Asked for a copy of the investigation, Hollister said, "The district objects to the production of the report as it is a personal document under 1 V.S.A. section 317(c)(7) and it contains confidential student information under section 317(c)(11)."

The Valley Reporter has asked why the names of the students can't be redacted and the investigation made public?