Power of Self Education (POSE) Co-founder and CEO Katrina Hobbs-Everett during a WHAV Open Mike Show.
The leader of a Mount Washington neighborhood group claims school bullying and violence in Haverhill is “out of control” and asks Haverhill Public Schools Superintendent James F. Scully to schedule a so-called “emergency meeting” with parents.
Power of Self Education (POSE) Co-founder and CEO Katrina Hobbs-Everett wrote to Scully Monday, requesting a meeting “to replace the one parents tried to attend last month to address their concerns.” While a parents meeting was held, without Scully in attendance, at City Hall, Sept. 14, including members of Haverhill Hispanic Coalition, Hobbs-Everett alleges parents’ concerns went overlooked and “have now reached a boiling point.” Hobbs did not identify the parents or indicate whether privacy waivers have been sought. State law limits public discussion of specific student issues.
“In-school violence and bullying is out of control this school year, and has been a growing issue for some time now. I have been contacted personally with six incidences of physical violence in just the past two weeks,” Hobbs-Everett wrote in an e-mail copied to the mayor, School Committee and City Council members. “Parents are fed up and outraged by the drugs, violence, and bullying that currency plague our schools, and with the constant overlooking of such issues by yourself and your administration. Our ‘zero tolerance’ policies and anti-bullying policies are not being taken seriously and/or upheld uniformly in every school.”
Hobbs-Everett also claimed Scully, since a February “school to prison pipeline” forum held by POSE, has not responded to requests to review the district’s code of conduct in compliance with state law.
“To date I have not received a response from you or any shred of factual data that provides proof that the Haverhill School District even plans to try to adjust discipline policies to meet Massachusetts state law standards. This year’s handbooks do not appear to meet state standard either, but they are currently being reviewed by lawyers and a follow up will soon be scheduled,” she added.
Hobbs-Everett requested the meeting be held at a time and place that is mutually convenient for parents and “not in neighborhood schools as you suggested in your letter canceling the meeting facilitated by the Haverhill Hispanic Coalition.”
As WHAV reported last month, Scully said he backed out of addressing that conference when he learned the group planned to advocate for fired District Supervisor of English Learner Education Graciela Trilla.
WHAV has reached out to Scully for a response, but he was not immediately available.