Community shows support for school administrator as superintendent announces retirement

Superintendent Richard Del Moro has announced plans to retire next month (pictured school district website)

MIDDLETOWN — Current and former students, along with some parents, attended the Middletown School Board’s Thursday night meeting to show support for school administrator Omar Perez and condemn the school administration’s actions regarding the multiple transfers of his position, which he and his supporters claim are punitive in nature.

Perez is the dean of the 2nd house at Middletown High School, a title he recently regained following transfers to other school positions.

Following his allegations of incidents of alleged sexual harassment perpetrated by teachers and school employees at the council on June 14and, Perez claims that he was shortly thereafter and without notice or reason, stripped of his title. He claims it was treated as punishment for whistleblowing and the board was trying to cover up the allegations.

“I haven’t had a conversation with anyone above me, zero. It tells you there’s a cover-up and deeper things are going on and that’s why I’m moved,” Perez said “While other people are being moved around and getting promoted and making more money, I’m not asking for money, I just wanted my job. As one person said, “He’s back in high school,” so you’d think I won…nope. They didn’t want and didn’t expect this to happen after they canceled last week’s session an hour after it was supposed to happen,” he said.

During a public comment section of the school board session, a number of current and former students corroborated her allegations of sexual misconduct, specifically saying they came from a high school security guard. The students also organized a petition with over 2,000 signatures to have him reinstated.

Regarding the abrupt cancellation of the last meeting, school board vice president Rose Tobiassen said that due to vacations and other absences, there were not enough members to reach their minimum of five members to hold the meeting, which led to its postponement.

The board did not address the validity of the sexual misconduct allegations, nor the reason for Perez’s transfers Thursday night.

School Superintendent Richard Del Moro, who announced his retirement at the start of the meeting, was unavailable for comment after the session. His last official day as superintendent will be October 7..

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Martha K. Merrill