WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District on Saturday announced that the racist Zoom-bombing incident in a high school classroom this week was the work of a student from another school district.
Superintendent Jason McCandless made the announcement in a letter to the Mount Greylock community that was posted on the middle-high school's social media accounts.
"On Friday afternoon, the principal of Mount Greylock Regional School, Mr. [Jake] Schutz, was emailed an apology from a student in another school district who is taking responsibility for their own action of impersonating a Mount Greylock student online and playing music with highly offensive lyrics containing a racial epithet," McCandless wrote.
He wrote that "local school authorities will have the opportunity to hold this student to account."
On Saturday evening, McCandless confirmed in an email to iBerkshires.com that the other school district was aware of Mount Greylock's determination, "and in fact brought their suspicions to the Mount Greylock administration."
McCandless thanked the Williamstown Police Department for its work since the Jan. 21 incident and the Berkshire County District attorney's office for its offer of assistance during the investigation.
The student who admitted to the incident apologized for their actions and asked that the apology be forwarded to the individual Mount Greylock student whose identity was used to trespass in a virtual classroom.
"I now realize how bad, unacceptable, and disgusting my actions were," McCandless' letter quotes the student's apology. "It was never my intention to hurt or make anyone feel targeted.
"I truly apologize to the students, teachers and administrators who were affected by my action. I am especially sorry to the student who felt targeted and hurt by my decision. It was never my intention to make someone feel targeted or hurt."
McCandless indicated that the fact that the incident appears not to have been the work of a Mount Greylock student, the conversation it has sparked about school climate will continue.
"No matter the 'who' or the 'where' of this incident, the incident has served as a stark reminder that hate, fear, intimidation, and language that disrespects not only an individual but an entire people, and all who stand with our neighbors, are real," McCandless wrote. "We are reminded that neither these beliefs nor actions will be tolerated or overlooked in our community.
"This incident serves as a stark reminder that we must continue to find ways to ensure that every student and every family member have the absolute and inalienable right to feel safe, to feel welcome, to feel they belong, and to feel they are home."
McCandless also addressed a separate concern arising from Saturday's announcement itself: the security of the versatile classrooms that figure to be a major part of public education as the COVID-19 pandemic continues this winter and spring.
"School officials will continue to seek how the student from another district had one of our class links, and the school has instituted further security protocols to keep this from happening again," he wrote.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to email@example.com.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
Williams College Celebrates Staff Members on Annual Appreciation Day
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — On May 4, Williams College celebrated its annual Appreciation Day which honors staff members who have reached milestones in their service to the college.
The day is an opportunity for community members to offer thanks to the staff whose contributions uphold the college's functionality and excellence.
This year's retirees are Michael Briggs, Jane Canova, Barb Casey, Thoeun Ching, Marilyn Cole Dostie, Robin Coody, Maggie Driscoll, Donald Girard, John Gravel, Frederick Jolin, Walter Komorowski, Nancy Luczynski, James Menard, JoAnne Moran, Robert Neville, Robert Noel, Michael Noyes, Roger Parks, Alesia Parks, Michael Reopell, Barbara Robertson, Ellen Rougeau, Donna Santiago, Tony Sinico, Theodore Stefanik, Roberta Sweet, Stacy Sylvester, and
Babcock is in Williamstown this month removing a 19th-century barn from a property on Green River Road (Route 43). In the not-too-distant future, he will be back in town putting the same barn back together on the property of the Williamstown Historical Museum.
click for more
The Select Board last summer created what became the Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee as an advisory panel. Members of that panel this week questioned why the Select Board has not appeared willing to consider the advice the DIRE Committee has provided.
click for more
As it nears the end of its inaugural year and faces the first departure of a founding member, the town's diversity committee Monday reflected on the importance of the discussions it has had and the perspectives it has centered in the town's conversation. click for more
On what promises to be the most controversial issue up for discussion, the board broke with the Planning Board, voting 4-1 against recommendation of the cannabis cultivation bylaw that the planners focused on for the past year.
click for more