We are sending the following message out (in real people voices - Portuguese, Spanish and English) at 6:30 tonight.
Good evening parents, guardians, and students. This is Mr. Bocaccio, principal of Danbury High School. I’d like to take this opportunity to communicate with everyone. On Wednesday, before school there was an altercation involving 10 students. This situation was quickly attended to and all students involved were appropriately disciplined. The remainder of the day, with the exception of the persisting rumors, proceeded as usual. Today was a very normal day at school. I am very proud of our student body, almost 3,000 strong, where students come together to work and study on a daily basis. I want to thank our parents for their concern and support. I wish everyone a pleasant weekend, and I look forward to seeing our students on Monday morning.
Meghan G. Martins, Ed.D.
Associate Principal of Instruction for Secondary Schools
Danbury Public Schools
I don't know about you but sending this message on a Friday evening is a tad bit insulting to parents who should had been notified about the incident at the high school at the same time school officials reached out to the community leaders such as Rev Pitts and the Hispanic Center for assistance...which was on WEDNESDAY.
Sending a message to parents two days after the fact and claiming that on Wednesday "the remainder of the day, with the exception of the persisting rumors, proceeded as usual" when community leaders at the Hispanic Center not only chased down Dominican students who feared that there would be more altercations between themselves and African-American students...
Alvarez-Dimarzo said that when word of the brawl got back to her, she got into her car to look for some of the students she had come to know in her time with the Hispanic Center.
She said that many of them had donned "Dominican Pride" T-shirts after school let out, making them easily identifiable.
"I talked to some of these kids yesterday. They're not looking to fight because someone's black," she said Thursday. "They're afraid of getting beaten up and they're angry."
...put also posted the following message on Facebook later on Wednesday calling for calm.
This post goes out to my Danbury High School youth! I want to talk to you, but more than talk I need you to listen to what I will ask of you. To the members of Trinidad I will say Dominicana Soy! But I will not excuse nor tolerate the use of ethnic pride for violence. I recognize your need for acknowledgement and respect. I am saddened by the incidents at DHS today. I've had the opportunity to meet with some of you this afternoon. Thank you for listening and thank you for taking the shirts off. For those that I haven't seen today-hear me out. Trinidad you have an open invitation to see me, talk to me and meet with me. I'm putting the ball in your court. My doors are open for conflict resolution. Use me as your vehicle. Allow me to hear and better understand what you are going through. No reprimands no accusations. But I need you to put weapons down-I need you to not use violence and gang intimidation tactics. Allow me to help you resolve this conflict. I will hear and not judge your side of the story. But I will ask of you this-no violence-call the fight off-do not allow one more friend to get hurt. To all other friends, please if you have access to DHS student community at home, in the community or any place else or even if you don't let's lead by example. Please share this post and help me reach every DHS student today.
Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury
Centro Hispano (203) 798-2855
In short, DHS interim principal Bocaccio's message was two days too late as parents could had worked in conjunction with Rev. Pitts and the Hispanic Center and played a significant role in assisting in calming the situation down.