Interim Boston Latin School headmaster to be named this week

BOSTON, MA - 6/23/2016: L-R Dr Chang supt of Boston Schools in middle Mike O'Neil charman of Boston School Committee and Mayor Marty Walsh speaks to media.   Faculty demand Dr Chang and Boston Latin School reject resignations of headmasters. Mayor Walsh held a closed door meeting and then spoke to media afterwrds.   (David L Ryan/Globe Staff Photo) SECTION: METRO TOPIC 24BLS(2)
Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang (left) looks on as Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a press conference Thursday. –David L Ryan / The Boston Globe

Following a turbulent week, an interim headmaster at Boston Latin School will soon be named, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang announced Saturday.

“Next week, I plan to name an interim headmaster for Boston Latin due to this week’s resignation of Headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta, who was a dedicated leader of the school,” Chang said. “Thereafter, BPS and BLS will begin to map out the process to find a permanent school leader.”

The announcement put a period on a week that saw both Teta and Assistant Headmaster Malcolm Flynn resign from Boston Latin, the oldest public school in the United States.

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The elite exam school has been under investigation by both city and federal officials, following a social media campaign earlier this year by a student group called BLACK at BLS that highlighted racially insensitive incidents at the school which they said weren’t addressed by school officials.

The Boston Globe reported Friday that the city’s Office of Equity at the School Department concluded their investigation earlier this month into five cases of alleged insufficient action by Boston Latin administrators. According to the Globe, one since-resolved incident involved a 13-year-old student with a personal connection to Teta.

Chang decried such leaking of personal student information.

“Boston Public Schools does not publicly release confidential information pertaining to students or student discipline that would warrant an invasion of privacy,” said the superintendent. “I am troubled by any information shared publicly that constitutes a breach of that confidentiality.”

Chang said Saturday that he is committed to upholding the “longstanding tradition” of educating and preparing students for “responsible, engaged citizenship.”

“We must also continue the important work initiated this year of creating meaningful dialogues around race and culture to develop a school environment where all feel welcomed and supported,” he said.

BOSTON, MA - 6/23/2016:A Rare Occassion...on the front steps support from faculty for L-R Headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta and Assistant Headmaster Malcom Flynn. Faculty demand Dr Chang and Boston Latin School reject resignations of headmasters. Mayor Walsh held a closed door meeting and then spoke to media afterwrds. (David L Ryan/Globe Staff Photo) SECTION: METRO TOPIC 24BLS(2)
Boston Latin School faculty stand with Lynne Mooney Teta and Malcolm Flynn (center) on the school steps Thursday. —David L Ryan / The Boston Globe

Following the resignations of Teta and Flynn on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, a group of Boston Latin faculty members stood in defiance of Chang and Mayor Marty Walsh at a press conference Thursday.

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Standing with Teta and Flynn on the steps of the school, the teachers insisted that Boston Latin was a place of mutual respect and that the two departing officials were assets to the campus environment.

“The feds are here because of complaints from people who have never been in this school,” said Flynn, a 52-year fixture at Boston Latin, alluding to local civil and social rights leaders who had demanded the resignations. “If you find a school where kids are more respectful to each other, let me know.”

Other teachers—standing together dressed in purple, the school color—said they believed that Teta and Flynn were unfairly treated during the investigation and deserved to stay.

In his statement Saturday, Chang asked for unity at the school as officials begin to look for a permanent headmaster.

“I ask the Boston Latin School community to come together in respectful and engaged collaboration and dialogue as we begin this important process and continue to provide the best possible education and experiences for our students,” he said.

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