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San Bernardino school officials meet with parents after discovery of letter containing racial slur

San Bernardino school officials meet with parents after discovery of letter containing racial slur
In a video posted on the San Bernardino City Unified School District's YouTube page, district Supt. Dale Marsden delivers a message to parents after the discovery of a letter containing a racial slur directed at a principal. (San Bernardino City Unified School District)

San Bernardino school district officials are meeting with parents Thursday after the discovery of a letter containing a racial slur directed at a black principal.

The anonymous letter, directed at Lankershim Elementary School Principal Crecia Robinson, was placed in a staff room mailbox Tuesday, according to the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Administrators notified the district, and a multiagency investigation was immediately launched.

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“Although the letter didn’t directly threaten physical harm to any staff or students, the contents of the letter were disturbing, unacceptable and sufficiently threatened the climate and culture of Lankershim Elementary School,” district Supt. Dale Marsden said in a letter to parents.

Following discovery of the letter, Robinson elected to take another administrative position in the district, for her “health and well-being,” Marsden said.

After a letter directing a racial slur at her was found in a staff mailbox at the Highland elementary school where she was principal, Crecia Robinson took another administrative position in the district.
After a letter directing a racial slur at her was found in a staff mailbox at the Highland elementary school where she was principal, Crecia Robinson took another administrative position in the district. (San Bernardino City Unified School District)

In a video posted on the district’s YouTube page, Marsden said this is not the first racially tinged incident at the Highland elementary school. A previous issue prompted an outside forensic investigation with multiple agencies and resulted in districtwide training on unconscious bias.

School district officials think the perpetrator is an employee.

“Today we’re partnering with our community leaders and leading investigative experts to find and to terminate this employee,” Marsden said. “This kind of behavior will not be tolerated in our district.”

The district held a parent meeting Thursday morning, and another is planned for 6 p.m. at the elementary school.

“These types of behaviors are exactly what we’re teaching children not to embody,” Marsden said. “We want them to embody kindness, compassion.”

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