School Committee Had Access to Only One of Five Investigation Reports



Jennifer Shiao’s School Committee Blog

Editor’s note: . Jennifer Shiao is a member of the Amherst School Committee. Her original posts can be found here.  An archive of her blog posts in The Indy can be found here.

Redacted versions of the five reports stemming from the Title IX investigations at the Amherst Regional Middle School have now been made available to the public. They have been posted on Boarddocs, the website used to post School Committee meetings, information, and policies. To access the reports, visit the ARPS Boarddocs site, click on Library, then School Committee Information.
Or use this link:

The five reports are:
– Title IX investigation report about Tania Cabrera (11 pages)
– Title IX investigation report about Hector Santos (36 pages)
– Title IX investigation report about Delinda Dykes (65 pages)
– Investigation report about Delinda Dykes and Hector Santos (34 pages)
– Investigation report to ARPS School Committee (94 pages)

I want to clarify that, despite what has been reported in the press and discussed among community members, the fifth and longest report (Investigation report to ARPS School Committee) is the only report that the Regional and Union 26 School Committees (RSC and U26) previously had access to. The other four reports were not made available to us prior to being posted publicly on Friday November 17.

RSC and U26 School Committee members were originally informed that we could pick up a redacted version of this report on October 10, in preparation for our October 12 meeting. Ultimately, we were permitted to have the unredacted version of the report, which most members picked up on October 10 or October 11. We were instructed to sign confidentiality agreements stating that we would not disclose the information in the report, and that we would return the report to the superintendent’s office after the October 12 meeting and would not retain a copy of it.

On October 12, after the meeting concluded, we surrendered our copies of the report to Attorney Marc Terry, who indicated he would have them shredded.

Between October 12 and November 17, I had no access to any of the reports.

This blog reflects my own views about the Amherst and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committees – it does not represent the view of the committees, the district, or the superintendent. This blog complies with Open Meeting Law, as long as a quorum of School Committee members do not engage in deliberations in the comments. Comments are welcome. I may respond to comments, but I will not respond to all comments. Sign up here using the “follow blog via email” form to be notified when I post a new entry You can email me at

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4 thoughts on “School Committee Had Access to Only One of Five Investigation Reports

  1. This account raises the issue of who is in charge, the School Committee chair, the Acting Superintendent, some attorney (either one hired by the SC or by the town), who?

    The School Committee hires the Superintendent, and the Superintendent works for the SC. At least on paper, that is the way it is supposed to be. However, I know that in past decades the attorney for the SC was chosen by the Superintendent. That attorney supported whatever the Supt. wanted and the SC just went along with that. It would have been better if the SC hired their own attorney since their priorities are not always the same as the serving Supt. Unfortunately the members of the SC at the time merely took direction from the Supt.

    In this present matter, the members of the SC need to know who is making these decisions about which reports they will see. If the Acting Supt. is making these decisions, they need to inform him that he will take direction from them, not anyone else. If he claims that he is following the direction of the attorney, the SC needs to hire its own attorney who reports just to them.

  2. @Michael: The decisions about access to the report were made by the RSC and U26 chairs, under the advice of counsel.

  3. @Michael I vaguely remember (before I was on the SC) that the district made a recommendation about switching law firms, and the SC approved it. But honestly, I don’t fault the attorney, and I don’t think having a different attorney, or one hired by the SC and not the district, would make any difference. An attorney’s job is to give advice on how to avoid litigation, or put yourself in the best position in the case of litigation. The client’s job is to take the attorneys advice as input and make decisions.

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