To the Editor:
During the Oak Bluffs planning board meeting on March 31, a speaker uttered an expletive while a community member shared her views about the high school’s proposed track and field project. The comment was offensive, demeaning, and misogynistic, and an affront to the community member, an insult to all who were in attendance, and disrespectful to the planning board and the process our community put in place to allow for thorough review of the project.
The MVRHS School Committee and school administration denounce the comment, and want to express our apologies to the community member who was sharing her views. While the person who expressed the abhorrent language is not affiliated with, a spokesperson for, a consultant to, or otherwise engaged with the school system, he has been a vocal proponent of the project.
For some time, this project has been the center point of strong community views that at times have been loud, disrespectful, and expressed in anger. What happened at last night’s public meeting crossed a line that will not be tolerated, and we encourage the speaker to take responsibility for his actions. As the leadership for the school district, we are committed to allowing all voices to be heard and treated with respect.
Amy Houghton, school committee chair, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School
Matthew D’Andrea, superintendent of schools
Richard Smith, assistant superintendent
Sara Dingledy, principal, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School