Joint Statement Addressing Community Concerns Related to Allegations of Racial Bias at Collingswood High School

 Joint Statement from:
Borough of Collingswood
Collingswood Police Department
Collingswood Public School District

April 19, 2024

On Wednesday, April 17th, we convened a meeting among leadership for our respective entities to address community concerns related to recent allegations of racial bias at the high school. While we cannot comment on a specific and active law enforcement investigation, we all share a deep concern for our community, specifically residents and students of color.  

As a group, we acknowledge the hurt, pain, and fear associated with these allegations and recognize the impact on many Collingswood residents - adults and children alike.

We share a clear and strong commitment to focus on healing our community while simultaneously continuing to build on the work we’ve done to create a more inclusive and understanding community.

This process requires honesty, openness, empathy, and courage and we need the help of the community. Collingswood is not immune to the harmful effects of racism. We encourage parents and community members to talk to their children, friends, and neighbors about racism and bias in any form and the profound effects it has on all of us.  

In the upcoming weeks, we will provide resources and focus on deeper community engagement. Initially, we are organizing workshops for the public led by skilled professionals to actively address and prevent all forms of discrimination. These workshops are offered by the NJ Division of Civil Rights and offer a deep dive into anti-bias topics, proactively addressing discrimination, and bias-based harassment by examining real-world situations. Each training provides participants with practical strategies for preventing bias, harassment, and discrimination. Collingswood will host a series of these workshops, beginning with group sessions in June. Please check back here for details and information on signing up. 

Additionally, on May 16 from 7-9 pm, the Collingswood School District, Collingswood Borough, and Collingswood DEI Committee will host an Amplifying Black Voices” panel at the Collingswood Senior Community Center, providing an opportunity to hear directly from Collingswood students, parents, and residents of color. Click here for more information and to register. 

Moreover, we are collaborating to establish a website that will include resources, upcoming events, and updates on the work to cultivate inclusivity and combat structural racism. The site is expected to be completed at the beginning of May.

While we work to put together more information, we immediately want to share New Jersey’s Bias Crime Hotline. This is a tip line for individuals who are the target of bias crimes. You can call toll-free at 1-800-277-BIAS (2427). Individuals may also Report Online. Collingswood students may report Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying (HIB) incidents and find resources for reporting online here

It will be a long road and we do not have all the answers. Let us remain steadfast in the belief that through collective effort and shared responsibility, we can dismantle systemic barriers, foster understanding, and cultivate a culture of equity and belonging for all.


Mayor Jim Maley

Commissioner Rob Lewandowski

Commissioner Morgan Robinson

Chief of Police Kevin Carey

Superintendent Dr. Fred McDowell

Board of Education President Regan Kaiden

Board of Education Vice President Kate Seltzer

Bruce Smith Collingswood DEI Chair