BY JENNIFER GUY
Los Alamos Public Schools
The Los Alamos Reporter recently ran an article titled “Discrimination Complaint Against LAPS Is Under Investigation By District, NMPED And Office Of Civil Rights.” While the Los Alamos Public Schools appreciates the reporter’s interest in our district, we are obligated to provide a brief reply, and some clarifications.
First and foremost, the Los Alamos Public Schools takes all allegations of racism and discrimination seriously and promptly investigates any such claims. While the Los Alamos Reporter’s headline states that there are pending complaints against the District with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and the New Mexico Public Education Department, if that is the case, the District has not been made aware of any investigations by either entity.
The District has previously commented on the March 2022 OCR complaint. The District investigated the allegation that a racial slur had been used at a sporting event and fully cooperated in the OCR subsequent investigation and related resolution activities. The OCR closed that case on September 11, 2023, with no findings against the District.
More recently, after receiving a parent’s October 2023 complaint against District administrators, LAPS immediately hired an outside investigator to investigate the complaint. Hiring a third-party investigator is intended to ensure a fair and impartial investigation. Because the allegations involve confidential student and personnel matters, we are unable to comment further at this time.
The Los Alamos Public Schools is a continuous improvement district, and is always looking to improve our practices and ensure that all of our students receive an equitable and high quality educational experience. One example of our commitment to improvement is the recent hiring of Inclusive Schools Director Andrea Determan. Mrs. Determan is an experienced educator and administrator who will oversee and support the District’s work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives. As a key member of the district’s leadership team, Mrs. Determan is available to speak to any parents about concerns around these issues. She can be reached at 505-663-3237 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the Superintendent, I am committed to being as transparent as possible with the public and being responsive to any concerns. The school board is also committed to transparency and information sharing, in accordance with any applicable law. As a team, both the Board and I want every student and every family to feel safe and included in our schools.