Family may take legal action against Minisink Valley school district over racial issues

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MINISINK – The family of children who attended Minisink Valley High School may file litigation over the way they feel the school district has addressed the racial issues they faced.

The children of the Kinzonzi family, originally from the Republic of Congo, believe the district and Orange County have given the alleged perpetrator in one case “a slap on the wrist,” and attorney Michael Sussman said the family believes that has been an insufficient response to what he said is an ongoing behavior.

“It doesn’t appear to the family that the county or the school district has taken the kind of actions needed to extricate this kind of racism,” Sussman said. “So, they don’t want to wait simply for the next person to be affected by similar behavior in a district which has not taken the matter seriously and a county where the county attorney’s office wants to give a very minor slap on the wrist to the perpetrator.”

In one instance last year, a student in N’Senga Kinzonzi’s class took a candid photo of her and they posted a racially derogatory comment about her. The alleged perpetrator was identified and Sussman believes the county attorney’s office, which has handled the case, did not do so appropriately.