Power of Self-Education (POSE) Co-founder and CEO Katrina Hobbs-Everett.
A discussion on an updated anti-bullying policy and new surveys by the Haverhill Public Schools is anticipated as the leader of a Mount Washington neighborhood group, a recent critic of the district’s code of conduct policy, is scheduled to speak tonight before the Haverhill School Committee.
Power of Self-Education (POSE) Co-founder and CEO Katrina Hobbs-Everett will address the committee as it continues a discussion from its last meeting on the department’s anti-bullying policy. She told WHAV today she participated in a parents survey, released online Wednesday along with other surveys for students in grades 3 to 5 and grades 6 to 12. While saying she was ‘thrilled” the school district listened to concerns and wrote the surveys, she suggested the parent survey should further reflect whether more than one child was subject to a bullying incident.
“The questions are guided and not very open-ended. If you have students in multiple grades it allows you to record only one incident,” Hobbs-Everett said.
An updated district anti-bullying policy was also posted by the school department. Hobbs-Everett said it contains a more detailed and clearly defined chain of command to address bullying complaints. She added that policy is also intertwined with a school discipline, or code of conduct, policy over which she said she raised concerns with the committee in April. She also noted the updated anti-bullying policy added follow-up procedures which, she added, “should have been done already.”
Committeeman Paul A. Magliocchetti has requested Hobbs-Everett speak during tonight’s meeting. WHAV has reached out to Magliochetti, but he was not immediately available.
As WHAV reported Oct. 26, Hobbs-Everett, in an e-mail to Superintendent James F. Scully and copied to committee members, claimed school bullying and violence was “out of control” and requested Scully schedule a so-called emergency meeting with parents. The request came after Sully, in September, said he backed out of addressing a conference by Haverhill Hispanic Coalition when he learned the group planned to advocate for fired District Supervisor of English Learner Education Graciela Trilla.
“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 wrote last month. She had also claimed Scully, since a February “school to prison pipeline” forum held by POSE, had not responded to requests to review the district’s code of conduct in compliance with state law.