ARUNDEL — It would be an understatement to say that I am disappointed to read Maine Sunday Telegram coverage of racial bias at Kennebunk High School toward a teacher and a student whose family ultimately moved out of our district because of it. I am angry.

I shared the article on a closed group of Kennebunk parents, and the response to it has been the same shock and anger. School board members should be aware that people are looking for accountability regarding the response (or lack thereof) to the Confederate flag incident, regarding the harassment of a student on the bus and regarding why a well-qualified teacher left Regional School Unit 21 after raising concerns about accountability for the racist actions of some of her students.

I was a member of the RSU 21 school board when this incident took place in 2016, and I am angered that I knew nothing about it until I read the Telegram article. Something that rises to the level of harassment, intimidation and racist comments should have been presented to the board for a discussion on how to address this in the school and the community. This type of behavior affects all of us: from the families whose children participated in the racist behavior, to the children who had to witness it, to the teachers who were unable to speak up about it or who may have been encouraged not to.

I had a frank conversation with my daughter, a KHS graduate, this past weekend; she was fully aware of the flag incident. She said no conversations took place about the history of the Confederate flag, nor were there any student body conversations about racism and harassment and bullying policies. She is not the only student, former or current, stating this. I am not the only former board member angry about this, or surprised that it wasn’t brought to our attention when it happened.

My question to the current school board is: Now what? Now that it’s out there that a group of students was behaving in a manner that was racist and unacceptable toward another student; now that we know that a teacher who is a person of color left because she did not feel supported in her attempts to engage in dialogue that may have helped to turn this situation around, and now that we know that the entire student body was not educated around the situation, now what?

The school board should put out a statement making clear that racism will not be tolerated in our district, that administrators dropped the ball and that an action plan is in place to address this situation. Details of the action plan should be included in that statement.

The action plan should include no less than an apology to the teacher and the student who endured the behavior, even though they are no longer in our district. It should also list restorative justice action steps that the school and district will begin implementing no later than this week. They should be meaningful. They should invite the community. They should be facilitated by someone with expertise in training-dialogue on racism, they should happen in more than one venue at more than one time and the results of those meetings should then include action steps on how teachers and students in this community will be protected from hate.

Do we not have a zero-tolerance policy on bullying and racism? It might behoove the board to share that with the community, and then put some teeth into those policies and prove that they mean something.

Board members’ hands are not tied. I would go as far as to request that the board, which hires and fires the superintendent, investigate how this happened. The board should want to know how the person ultimately responsible for the entirety of the district let this one fly under the radar of a notable share of those of us who were on the board at that time.

This will not go away. People have been hurt by inaction on the part of the board and administrators. Time to dig in and do some difficult work.