Region 10 Superintendent Apologizes for Questionable Video - NBC Connecticut

Region 10 Superintendent Apologizes for Questionable Video

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Region 10 Superintendent Apologizes for Questionable Video

    Region 10 Superintendent Apologizes for Questionable Video

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017)

    The superintendent of Region 10 Public Schools is apologizing for his participation in what was supposed to be a humorous video, tracked down by the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

    Superintendent Alan Beitman went ahead and admitted his involvement, "legitimized an inappropriate attempt at humor" through a letter sent to the school community.

    Beitman's letter to the school reads, in part: "I regret being part of this embarrassing film clip and apologize for tarnishing the dignified office of Superintendent of Schools. I apologize to you, the students, and the entire school community."

    Over the weekend, parents started asking what the superintendent's letter noting the 5-year-old video was all about.

    The video in question is roughly 20 minutes long. In it, Beitman interacts with a female staff member at the Harwinton Consolidated School. The woman role plays with other teachers, administration and police.

    NBC Connecticut has been told the video was compiled as an end of year "stress reliever" shown only to staff members at a party. There are conflicting reports on whether the party was held at the school or a private home.

    In the video, Beitman, while role playing, asks the female staff, who is wearing a miniskirt, "You're heading home I take it?”

    She responds, "Yeah, totally. I'm going home. One of the dads wanted me to come over."

    The Board of Education Chairman Phil Penn said an investigation was launched on Monday and they’ve hired an outside attorney to independently review the matter.

    Some parents, including Heather Messier, read the letter, but didn’t see the video until Monday.

    "The behavior looked inappropriate," Messier told NBC Connecticut.

    Burlington businessman Dwight Harris said he's worked with children in the community for three decades. He filed a complaint with the Board of Education and the district’s Title 9 Coordinator late last week because he believes the video is filled with sexual overtones and is a violation.

    Harris also has a problem with how the district handled another employee after complaints were lodged, which he claims came with no due process.

    Harris calls the superintendent, the "captain of the ship" who should be steering teachers and staff members in the right direction.

    "If we're trying to set an example about sex in the workplace this is absolutely the worst precedence you can set," Harris said.

    The business owner said Beitman's tone impacts the school community.

    "He's the mentor in the community as far as education and I think whatever tone he sets is important because it impacts the staff and teachers and that affects the kids," Harris told NBC Connecticut. "I was offended by the fact the superintendent participated in it, I didn’t think it set a good example for the teachers."

    NBC Connecticut stopped by Beitman’s office on Monday. Administrators said he wasn't in and he emailed NBC Connecticut to say the board of education already responded.

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