What is One Millburn?

Since Covid, we have seen an increase in code of conduct violations, including disruptive student behavior. and the use of inappropriate language and expression whereby we have:

  • Seen students engaging in peer-to-peer conversations and incidents involving the deliberate use of disturbing anti-semitic and racist words. The use of such words deliberately targeting specific groups has a long and devastating history, which reference centuries of genocidal hate. 

  • Disciplined students for incidents targeting the ethnicity, gender identity, body image, and other bullying of peers.

  • Dealt with students both in and out of school who have made verbal assaults and engaged in conversations that have targeted and marginalized their peers. 

  • Discovered students accessing online apps, social media and websites that are targeting students and promoting bias, hate and prejudice.

These incidents of racism, anti-semitism, anti-Asian and other derogatory statements are hate speech and do not represent the culture of our community.  They are inexcusable and unacceptable in Millburn schools and in Millburn period. Millburn-Short Hills is an evolving community encompassing many different cultures, identities, ethnicities, and religions.  Our diverse and inclusive makeup is our greatest strength. Together we will work as ONE MILLBURN to embrace our diversity and make Millburn a safe place to live, learn, and grow.

So our goal for this work is to acknowledge that hate speech, expressions and behaviors exist in our community, recognize what, as well as why it is pervasive, and ultimately to formulate next steps and actions as ONE MILLBURN.

thanksgiving event poster


Community Event 

November 19, 2023 Giving Thanks and Seeking Peace

We would like to invite the community to a very special Thanksgiving gathering coordinated by Community Congregational Church and the Interfaith Coalition on Sunday, November 19, 2023.  

Volunteers are needed to pack 1,000 food parcels to be distributed at Oasis, a food, period supply, and diaper distribution agency in Irvington.  This will be followed by a  Thanksgiving & Peace Vigil -  a service of music and culturally inclusive prayers for peace, led by students from Millburn Schools, and an Informal Reception to socialize over food and drink. 

Please mark your calendars, and share with your neighbors, family and friends.  This is an opportunity for all in our community to unite for peace in the season of Thanksgiving.  All are welcome!

one millburn logo

pcture of oresentation and people looking at it

One Millburn Presentation 6/14/2023

June 2023 Community Event

Millburn, along with other school districts around the state, has seen an increase in harassment, intimidation, and bullying incidents among our students. Most of these have involved antisemitic and racial slurs, along with other forms of hate speech.  As the students involved received the appropriate disciplinary measures, it became clear that these concerns are bigger than the schools. I reached out to our Township and Community organization leaders, and the leaders of local houses of worship to work together to educate students and families about the increase in hate, and to find ways to combat it. 

I understand that these are hard conversations.  I also understand that people may want more details about specific incidents.  As a school district, we cannot share anything that could disclose personally identifiable information about a student.  Our job is not only to discipline according to the code of conduct but to educate and promote understanding. In some of these cases, the students truly were not aware of the harmful and hurtful consequences of their actions. Our work going forward is to make sure everyone in our schools and community stops and thinks before saying or doing something hurtful.  

Thank you to the presenters who volunteered their time to share their expertise with us during the ONE MILLBURN event:  Scott Richman, Director of ADL’s New York and New Jersey Regional Office; Sundeep Iyer, Director of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and Dr. Waffiyah Saleem, DSW, Founder of She Matters LLC, Chief Wellness Officer of The HUBB Arts & Trauma Center, Newark.  Thanks also to former Board of Education President, Jeff Waters for moderating the panel, and to Mayor Maggee Miggins and current Board of Education President, Louie Shen for their support and partnership. I am extremely grateful to the ONE MILLBURN Committee who came together in a very short period of time to start this work and to keep it moving forward.  You can see those who contributed to the Program here.   When you see them in the community, please thank them for their time and talents! You will also find a list of resources for parents, and we will be adding more resources and events.

I also want to thank our school district principals, administrators and staff who attended Wednesday night’s event.  They spend every day in their schools teaching kindness, respect and caring among all of our students and staff. Going forward we will continue to work with the ONE MILLBURN Committee to provide information for parents and families, include our students in these bold conversations, and make changes in our curriculum and program as needed.  Let us know how we can help you continue these conversations at home.  What kinds of programming would you like to see?  We will be using the questions shared by audience members at Wednesday’s event to inform future educational opportunities.

We can’t do this without you…it takes a township! As one of the audience members shared on Wednesday, “It will take thousands of steps to move the needle just a little to improve racism anywhere.  The thousands of steps need to be taken by everyone in the community.” Together we will work to embrace our diversity and make Millburn a safe place to live, learn, and grow as ONE MILLBURN.

If you were unable to attend the event on Wednesday, you may watch the video here. 

To give you an idea of the ways the district is addressing these levels of concern,  on Wednesday, at the Middle School, students heard from Sarah Coykendall and Megan Olsen of the Holocaust Resource Center of Kean University. While the speakers addressed students predominantly within the context of antisemitism, their presentation also explained stereotypes, bias, prejudice & hate; the power of jokes; and the negative & positive uses of social media. As a culminating activity in each assembly, students participated in a “Stand Up for the Other Pledge” in which they promised that if they were to “hear hateful comments from anyone about any other community,” they would “stand up for the other and speak up to challenge bigotry in any form.”  


Similar programs are being planned for the fall at all of our schools.