Middletown Holds Community Conversation after Black History Month Assembly Controversy

“What our students did last week is historical not only for Middletown for the state of CT and beyond," said Middletown Superintendent Dr. Michael Conner.

He opened Saturday night's community conversation on racial equity by saying it was long overdue.

He applauded members of the Minority Student Coalition for an assembly they put on at the high school last week which didn’t sit well with all community members.

The students tackled topics like white privilege and the impact of a racial slur.

But according to those who spoke in favor of the performance Saturday night, some parents and students, not at the meeting, have had harsh and ignorant criticisms about it on social media.

“I’m not going to keep coming to no meetings because the people who need to be here aren’t there," said one parent.

"I think another reason we’re facing this racism is because there’s no sense of personal stake," said a student. "I feel like we’re not all on the same team even though we’re all in the same building.”

Attendees discussed how the community can march forward and keep these uncomfortable conversations going among all community members.

The hope is that more people will become comfortable with them and that all community members can be seen and understood as equals.

“So Middletown community, our students spoke. The time is right now. I stand proudly with the students who spoke their truth,” said Dr. Conner.

Dr. Conner and the Board of Education Chairwoman plan to meet later this month to discuss the next steps about the information and feedback that was generated by the community.

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