5/7/21 Statements Regarding Incident at NPHS

Statements Regarding Incident at NPHS
Posted on 05/07/2021
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Update 5/7/2021


Today administrators from North Penn School District and North Penn High School met with students regarding issues surrounding an altercation that took place at NPHS earlier this week. NPHS students were invited to address their concerns and ideas around the topic of race, culture, religion and relationships in their school.

Themes that resonated included how to provide a safe space for students to talk about current events, the need to include more student voices on a regular basis, and the importance of implementing procedures to ensure items of personal and religious significance are returned to students if and when they are separated from them during an altercation.

Specific details regarding the altercation between the three students were not discussed, though general explanations in regard to disciplinary procedures, due process and student's rights were provided.

NPSD is committed to providing a safe and equitable learning environment for students of all races, cultures and religions. We remain vigilant in this pursuit and condemn behaviors that do not align with these principles. The investigation into the altercation remains in process and security video has been reviewed and shared with local authorities as part of our efforts.

Next steps will include broader communication and engagement on the topic of ensuring a safe and equitable learning environment for all students.



Update 5/6/2021


The North Penn School District continues to investigate the altercation involving three students at North Penn High School on Tuesday, May 4th, and is aware of cellphone videos of part of the incident circulating throughout social media. We take seriously the comments, reactions and feelings that are being represented by those on social media and others reaching out to the school district and school.

Since the altercation on Tuesday, NPSD officials have been in multiple conversations with the families involved, a representative from the NAACP Cheltenham Branch, North Penn Mosque and law enforcement. It is important that we work together during this difficult time and share with the community our steps to resolve the difficult issues at hand. We also must respect the privacy rights of the students involved. The District Administration has also apprised the Board of School Directors that an incident occurred at NPHS. Because the School Board may be required to act as an impartial hearing body in light of the potential for student disciplinary proceedings, the Board and its members are legally unable to comment on this matter out of concern for the due process rights of all students who may have been involved.

Although our investigation is not yet complete, it is apparent we could have done a better job in helping the student retrieve her hijab and support her during the situation. For this, the North Penn School District sincerely apologizes and resolves to move forward in a manner in which this is not repeated. Each year we dedicate many hours to help our staff and students grow in cultural proficiency, but we know we have much more work to do in this extremely important area.

Our first step in healing will be to provide an opportunity on Friday, May 7th, for NPHS students to discuss their thoughts regarding race, culture, religion, and relationships among students in a safe and open manner with school and district administration. Opportunities for tomorrow’s discussions will be provided during periods four through seven at the high school. After that, next steps will involve conversations with North Penn families and the broader community. Please know that specifics regarding the recent incident will not be discussed due to privacy laws.



Update 5/5/2021


The North Penn School District is committed to ensuring a safe and equitable learning experience for all students, while developing a respect for diversity and appreciation of human differences. Any student behaviors that do not abide by these principles will not be tolerated.

We take all matters of student wellbeing seriously and have processes and programs in place to ensure a safe school environment. Any altercation taking place in our schools is investigated and individuals involved are assigned consequences in accordance with Board policies and our student code of conduct.

The recent incident at North Penn High School is under an ongoing investigation. As always, we cannot comment on individual student situations.