Everett: Schools Not Following State Law on Student Discipline

Haverhill Public Schools needs to do a better job educating students who have been suspended or expelled or else risk fueling the “school to prison pipeline,” Katrina Hobbs-Everett told Open Mike Show listeners and viewers Monday night.

Everett, co-founder and CEO of Power of Self Education (POSE), said Haverhill High School codes of conduct met state requirements in only one out of 53 categories. Those figures came from Massachusetts Advocates for Children which asked affiliates at Harvard Law School to review city data. The review also found the high school to be “partly compliant” in five categories and non-compliant in 47 others. At the kindergarten through eighth grade level, she said, Haverhill schools met state rules in six out of 54 categories, and were partly compliant in eight categories and non-compliant in the remaining 40.

State law requires, “Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion.” Everett suggests the city partner with community groups to create a pilot program addressing the issues that lead to higher student dropout rates.

Everett thanked Haverhill School Committee President Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello for being the only member to express interest in the findings. WHAV is offering Haverhill Public Schools equal time to comment on, or dispute, the findings.

The group is also asking for the community’s feedback on the issue in the form of survey. To take the survey in English, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/52DTJM5. The Spanish/Español version is at: https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/8KW6KHL.

The complete Open Mike Show is below:

3 thoughts on “Everett: Schools Not Following State Law on Student Discipline

  1. Ms. Everett…You and POSE are nothing more than a far left wing race based progressive liberal organization advancing an agenda of victimization. Opportunity, especially in Haverhill public schools under the leadership of Jim Scully, is available and inclusive to all students. For those students that want it, that is.

    Ms. Everett, whose fault is it that these students get suspended or expelled? If kids are a disruption in school to the point they get suspended/expelled it is only natural teachers and school administrators put those student’s interests at the end of the line in terms of priorities, even in lieu of state laws. And why should they? If a student doesn’t care about behaving properly and expressing a desire to be there, why should school staff go out of their way to cater to them? Now through whacky liberal public policy disruptive students are “rewarded” for bad behavior by getting special attention? That is truly insane. It’s teachers and kids who are NOT a disruption in school who are the real victims here. They have to put up with these unruly students who cause trouble at school.

    Congratulations to Haverhill School Committee members who recognize that paying any attention to this issue is a complete waste of time.

    Ms Everett, your time and efforts would be better spent teaching young people about “individual responsibility”. It’s not school officials, or society’s, or unenforced public policy’s fault that the students you refer to fall victim to a “pipeline” It’s their OWN FAULT based on the choices and decisions they make. With your preaching and pointing fingers at others somehow I doubt that you understand this.

    • Wow! Jack I have to say how special I feel to have caught your attention.

      Thank you so much for your comments.

      In response to your question; The mission of POSE is “to empower individuals towards self-sustained social responsibility through education” so YES trust that POSE is consistently teaching both young people and adults (systems and bodies) about “individual responsibility” AND collective responsibility.

      I have to wonder about your “race based” comment. Could you clarify?


    • Hi Jack, in response to students getting expelled and suspended yes one would generally look at this and think okay it’s the student’s fault. However that’s not what this is about. Nor is it the center of the school to prison pipeline.

      If policy or code is not upheld there are certain students experiencing being suspended for unjust reason. For example currently there at 1800 students in haverhill on IEPs ( individualized education plans) of those youth some may or may not have mental health diagnosis, cognitive limitations or disabilities and set plans to help them succeed in school. Some may experience emotion at a higher intensity than others and often trauma, or symptoms, are or can be, viewed as being defiant in nature. It’s about looking at these behaviors and asking how can we better meet their needs versus getting them in trouble. Many universities and teachers around the state and country are acknowledging there’s a need to enhance teacher training programs to work with youth who are integrated into classrooms that have trauma or limitations in some way.

      On the other end you have youth in more extreme situations who have indeed done something wrong however are unable to receive educational services. Any and all research ( and laws) will show you that even these students have a right to education and that education is often a main factor in helping youth become successful in the future- along with having people who care about them.

      There are of course multiple sides to everything and I would hate to see us avoiding the rights, education and compassion for youth who, often to no fault of their own, have experienced extreme living conditions that have limited their protective factors and raised their defenses which often results in a display of troubling behavior which is often a call for help. Each side is necessary to look at when considering the future of our cities, states and country.

      Prison rates have increased 300% in 10 years. 68% of those incarcerated do not have a high school diploma. There is a link. And many are not your exteme murderer but rather have less serious charges. My question would be shouldnt we begin to look at preventative factors? Rather than say – it’s their fault, oh well and spending millions upon millions on housing people who could have a different outcome of time, consideration, and education were provided to them? Currently he solution is to stick youth in detention centers. And even DYS through JDAI is on board with limiting that. Even they recognize its not helping the youth. In fact stats show that 70% of youth in detention centers are low level offenders and shouldn’t even be there. It’s all connected and the picture is much larger then something being someone’s fault or not. It’s important to take responsibility, but let’s help raise the youth in our communities to make better choices as well rather than leaving them hanging.


      The above link shows factual data