South Orange-Maplewood Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ronald Taylor announced today that a staff member “alleged to have engaged in improper conduct involving the student at Montrose” has resigned.
In his statement, Taylor alluded to the staff member having previously been suspended, but did not directly link the staff member to events of March 27, when a Montrose staff member is alleged to have held 4-year-old Daylan Wilkins, who has autism, upside down and shook him by his ankles.
Village Green asked Taylor for clarification; he responded that his comments were limited to that statement below.
The district previously reported that a staff member had been suspended related to the March 27 incident pending the outcome of an investigation.
After the family was notified of the incident on March 29, Daylan Wilkins was taken to the hospital for evaluation, the family reported. “This baby has bruises everywhere. It seems like she was fighting this kid,” Candie Wilkins, the child’s grandmother, told NJ.com.
The Wilkins family, supported by local groups such as MapSO Freedom School, has advocated for “Justice for Daylan” at multiple South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education meetings as well as a weekend rally.
Per Taylor’s statement:
Last week on May 11, the Board accepted the resignation of the staff member alleged to have engaged in improper conduct involving the student at Montrose. The employee was on suspension with pay as is required under N.J.S.A. 18A:6-8.3 since March 30, 2023, which was the date that the building-level administration met with the family. The acceptance of the resignation concludes the employment relationship and avoids exposing the Board, staff, and students to any entanglement with efforts that could challenge a termination. The Board has and will continue to cooperate with State and local authorities in their investigations. Due to confidentiality laws, we are not able to provide further information.