Perkins Report

Concord School District releases redacted Perkins report

Dear Members of the Concord Community,

Today, Concord School District received and released a redacted version of the report, prepared at the request of the School Board, on the independent investigation into how the District responded to the allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of former faculty member Howie Leung. That redacted report is posted here as the most expedient way to share it with our community. I have also posted a list of questions with responses that you may find helpful in answering questions you may have about the timing of this posting and the process that was followed to redact the original report in a way that best protects the privacy interests of students in our care.

This despicable conduct of Howie Leung resulted in significant trauma to our students, families and District staff. None of us can go back and change what happened in our schools. We can, however, work diligently – and together as a community – to put in place the systems that will best protect against future misconduct in our schools.

I look forward to working with all of you to do just that.

Kathleen Murphy
Interim Superintendent

 



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 

These Frequently Asked Questions are questions that the Concord School District anticipates from the community with the release of the redacted report on the investigation of the District’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of former faculty member Howie Leung.

What is this redacted report?
This redacted report is the report that was prepared by investigator Djuna Perkins on her investigation of sexual misconduct allegations involving Howie Leung, with confidential information that would jeopardize the privacy rights of students and certain others redacted.

When was the redacted report released?
The redacted report was released to the Concord School Board today, July 13, 2020, and Interim Superintendent Murphy had it immediately posted to the District’s website.

If the full (unredacted) report was first made available to the School Board last September, why did it take almost a year for the public to see this version?
When the School Board first received the full report last September, it was clear to legal counsel and to the Board that to release it in the form provided would violate State and Federal laws protecting privacy rights of people identified in the report. At the time the Board received the report, State law also exempted from public disclosure reports of internal personnel investigations. There was substantial Board discussion at the time as to whether it might be possible to redact the report sufficiently to make it comply with those laws but it was thought to be not possible. In November, a lawsuit was filed against the School Board to force release of the full report, the complaint alleging that the public’s interest in seeing the report should dictate its release. That case has not yet been decided, but in May of this year the NH Supreme Court released two decisions that limit the confidentiality of internal personnel investigations. It was these Court decisions that allowed Concord School District to have legal counsel prepare and release the redacted report.

Who redacted the report?
The report was redacted by legal counsel to the School District.

Did the students most directly impacted by this have an opportunity to review the redacted report?
Yes.

How did counsel decide what information should be redacted?
Counsel went through the report line by line and redacted  information about individuals and safety protocols which remain confidential under current Federal and State law. In each case where information has been redacted, the redaction is marked in a color – a color that corresponds to the principal reason for the redaction.  A color key is provided at the beginning of the report to indicate which color represents which reason for redaction.

What has the School Board's response been since the discovery of the teacher misconduct?
Student safety and support is the number one priority of the District. The School Board has taken the following steps to address any forms of misconduct.

  • The School Board authorized an independent investigation to be conducted to ensure that the Board fully understood what transpired, how it could have transpired and to consider appropriate next steps.
  • The District terminated two senior-level employees, Principal Sica and Superintendent Forsten, for failing to exercise an adequate response to the reports of sexual misconduct.
  • The Board voted to fund a full-time Title IX Coordinator position for the District. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for addressing complaints of sexual harassment and misconduct. In addition, the Coordinator hears complaints, serves as a safe place for students to report boundary violations and ensures that the privacy rights of students are protected.
  • The Title IX Coordinator oversees training related to maintaining appropriate boundaries between faculty and students as well as among all employees in the District. The training will be extended to focus on the expectation that remind staff of their mandatory reporting obligations to report misconduct to their appropriate supervisor. 
  • The School Board tasked the standing Communications & Policy Committee of the Board to review and strengthen the District's expectations on “Student and Staff Relationships,” “Pupil Safety and Violence Protection,” and “Sexual Harassment.” That work is ongoing and part of the monthly work of the Board.

The following links have been posted to provide further information to our community 



COLOR KEY (PDF)



REDACTED PERKINS REPORT (PDF)



REDACTED ADDENDUM (PDF)

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