'Inappropriate Language' Displayed In Fairfield Schools' Convocation

November 12, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

FAIRFIELD, CT — “Explicit, and inappropriate language of a sexual nature” was displayed to Fairfield Public Schools staff during a portion of the annual Convocation before school starts next week, and Superintendent Michael Testani has issued a statement condemning the incident.

The inappropriate website url was displayed during the keynote speech of Dr. Derrick Gay, “a Diversity and Inclusion Strategist,” according to his website. What specifically was displayed was not disclosed.

“Unfortunately, explicit, and inappropriate language of a sexual nature was displayed within a slideshow by the district’s keynote speaker, Dr. Derrick Gay,” Testani wrote in a message to district families. “Fairfield Public Schools does not condone this behavior and we will no longer be partnering with Dr. Derrick Gay pending a thorough investigation.”

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Patch reached out to Gay for comment, and he said he has no idea how the offending content ended up on his presentation computer.

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“I am deeply distressed that an inappropriate URL appeared on a public slide presentation,” Dr. Gay said in a statement to Patch. “I regret any offense or discomfort this unfortunate incident may have caused to the attendees. However, to be clear, I did not place the content on the slide. I have used this slide more than a hundred times and have never seen this content before. I do not know how the content got into the slide and believe I am the victim of a third party accessing my computer. I am investigating the activity on my computer with professionals and will do my best to determine the source of this incident.”

Find out what's happening in Fairfieldwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The annual Convocation marks the kick-off of the upcoming school year, and on Thursday, Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick and Fairfield Board of Education Chair Jennifer Jacobsen also spoke. Additionally, a special greeting from Dr. Miguel Cardona, the U.S. Secretary of Education, was also shown to the staff.

According to Testani, the offensive website “was in no way related to the content” of Gay’s presentation.

“While we understand that this wasn’t purposely placed within the presentation, we cannot ignore the fact that it occurred,” Testani said in a statement. “We must acknowledge people’s feelings who participated in the professional learning, and as a district, continue to prioritize a safe and welcoming environment for all.”

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