MIDDLETOWN – Current and former students, along with some parents, attended the Middletown School Board’s Thursday evening meeting to show support for school administrator Omar Perez and condemn the school administration’s actions regarding multiple transfers of his position, which he and his supporters claim were punitive in nature.
Perez is the Middletown High School’s Dean of House Two, a title that he has recently regained following the transfers to other school positions.
Following his claims of alleged sexual harassment incidences perpetrated by school faculty and employees to the board on June 14th, Perez claims he was soon after and without notice or reason, stripped of his title. He claims that this was treated like a punishment for whistleblowing and that the board was trying to cover up the allegations.
“I’ve had zero conversations with anybody above me, zero. That tells you that there’s a cover-up and that there’s deeper things going on and that’s why I’m shifted around,” said Perez. “While other people are shifted around and receive promotions and get more money- I’m not asking for money, I just wanted my position. As one person articulated, ‘He’s back in the high school,’ so you would think I won… no. They didn’t want and didn’t expect this to happen after canceling last week’s session an hour after it was supposed to occur,” he said.
During a public comment section of the school board session, a number of current and former students corroborated his claims of sexual misconduct, specifically claiming they had come from a security guard in the high school. Students also organized a petition with over 2,000 signatures to have him reinstated.
As far as the abrupt cancellation of the last meeting, School Board Vice President Rose Tobiassen said due to vacations and other absences, there weren’t enough members to meet their five-member minimum to hold the meeting, resulting in its rescheduling.
The board did not address the validity of the sexual misconduct claims, or the reason behind Perez’s transfers Thursday evening.
School Superintendent Richard Del Moro, who announced his retirement at the beginning of the meeting, was unavailable for comment on the matter following the session. His official last day as superintendent will be October 7.