Published: Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 5:09 PM
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 11:09 AM
By: Michael Clark - Staff Writer
MIDDLETOWN — A Middletown Schools special education classroom aide is being investigated by the school system for allegedly using a racist slur in a Facebook comment, this news organization has exclusively learned.
A Middletown Board of Education member said the employee, Rebecca E. Montgomery at Miller Ridge Elementary, has been the source of “multiple complaints” regarding the online posting.
A recent Facebook comment by school board member Michelle Novak - in response to other Facebook comments regarding the alleged posting of a variation of an African-American slur by the school employee - stated: “The school has been notified through multiple complaints and it is now being investigated by our human resources department.”
“I commend the community for being so proactive in reporting these matters. It is of the utmost importance that we have a safe and respectful environment within our schools,” Novak wrote.
The alleged Facebook post from Montgomery is in a comments section in response to a photo of an unidentified, young African-American girl. The post referenced an African-American slur with the final five letters replaced with asterisks.
The post also includes an emoji face shedding tears from laughing.
Montgomery started as a “substitute aide” with the school system in 2011 and is now a classroom “paraprofessional” or teachers aide, according to district officials.
Montgomery was not a work Monday and unavailable to comment.
Middletown schools spokesperson Destini Burns said “we are currently investigating” the allegations, and Montgomery is on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
Burns issued a statement from district officials saying: “Middletown School district embraces its diverse population of students and staff. We champion a safe and supportive environment that appreciates and celebrates the contributions and assets of a diverse learning community.”
This new organization will report more as information becomes available.