Dear Principal Schutz and Superintendent McCandless,
I was so disheartened to hear of the recent racist attack on a Mt. Greylock student via Zoom-bombing one of the school’s classes. As you may know, that student is the child of Williams employees and valued members of our college community. I’ve been in touch with them to express concern and support. I’m now writing to you, as colleagues faced with an issue that continues to challenge Williams, as well as the schools, to offer whatever help the college can provide for your response.
As educators, I know we share a commitment to ensuring that every student in our schools is cared for and receives the best education we can provide, free from fear or intimidation. I appreciated that you initially responded to the incident in that spirit, including via a detailed incident report sent to families. I know that you will sustain that message and focus as the investigation unfolds. Williams would be happy to assist you by contributing to workshops, facilitating conversations or bringing in any expertise to which we have access, and that would aid your efforts to respond, remediate and educate.
This latest attack is yet another reminder that Williamstown, Williams College and other institutions in town aren’t immune to the ills of racism and hatred vexing the nation. I am saddened by the harm to the family, school and community, and hope we can continue to partner in educating people about the corrosive effects of those problems, as part of our shared effort to make this a more welcoming place for all.
Maud S. Mandel