Bullying Concerns May Receive School Policy Review

Power of Self Education (POSE) Co-founder and CEO Katrina Hobbs-Everett addresses Haverhill School Committee members. (WHAV News photograph.)

The Haverhill School Committee’s Policy Subcommittee may further review findings from an outside parents’ survey on student conduct, as well as claims of a bullying problem at Consentino School.

Mount Washington neighborhood group Power of Self Education (POSE) Co-founder and CEO Katrina Hobbs-Everett presented the committee findings from its own parents survey on school safety, discipline and school to home communications, among other topics. The survey was initiated, according to Hobbs-Everett, after a committee meeting in April. While she acknowledged Superintendent James F. Scully responded to last month’s e-mail regarding the district’s code of conduct policy, Hobbs-Everett encouraged the policy subcommittee to “push forward” with ongoing revisions.

“Mr. Sully did mention that in his letter to me, stating that the school committee reviewed that two years ago, and there could be ongoing updates, if I understood that correctly. I think that’s great if there are ongoing updates, because…I submitted a document that came from Harvard Law, saying that our code of conduct was largely out of compliance,” Hobbs-Everett said.

Hobbs-Everett said based on 241 “anonymous” responses by parents, 83.4 percent of which have children in the Haverhill schools, nearly 24 percent were “extremely unsatisfied” with school to home communication while another 38 percent replied “extremely satisfied.” She also pointed out other satisfaction rates, such as 33 percent regarding disciplinary actions; 46 percent for school safety; and 35 percent in “cultural competency.” According to Hobbs-Everett, 36.2 percent of the parents’ children attend Haverhill High School, 16 percent attend John Greenleaf Whittier Middle School, 15 percent attend Nettle and 13 percent attend Consentino. Others attend Haverhill Alternative school, Bartlett or are out-of-district special education placements.

Committeeman Paul A. Magliocchetti, who placed the agenda item, suggested Hobbs-Everett have a follow-up discussion with the policy subcommitee, chaired by Committeeman Scott W. Wood Jr.

“Less than 50 percent, across the board, were strongly dissatisfied on one reason or another. You’re going to get that. We have 8,000 kids in the schools. But I am curious to know where they fit in the demographic. Which subgroup they fall into and which school they’re part of because, without getting into the confidentiality issue, the privacy issue, we can at least identify those two components. It may be telling. It may provide us some insight into what’s going on in that particular school,” Magliocchetti said.

Wood, who was present, did not speak during the presentation. Parents of two Consentino School students also told the committee their child was either suspended for responding to a bullying incident or was a target of an alleged assault. Mayor James J. Fiorentini, committee chairman, said deterring such incidents is where the district needs to put its resources.

“And this has budget implications because, to me, these are the security issues in the schools. Not guard shacks or taking license plate numbers, things that are incredibly unlikely to happen,” Fiorentini said.  “The real worry isn’t that somebody is going to drive up from out of state and get into a classroom, the real worry is on kid versus another kid in the classroom.”

Superintendent James F. Scully noted parent communications, in addition to individual school web pages, include so-called parent portals he said are expanding and growing and school liaisons have been “communicating and meeting with people.”

8 thoughts on “Bullying Concerns May Receive School Policy Review

  1. Oh Ms Kay, if I only had the time to watch these meetings in their entirety. I must work several hours day and night so my time to watch people who like to hear themselves speak is minimal.
    The surveys were anonymous so I’m not sure how you are able to know who and what they are saying.
    I ask the same question of you because it is their job whether it’s the police and/or administration.
    The reports that I get from my children at the schools is far from what you are detailing. There are fights, bullying, theft and other problems daily. Guess what Ms Kat, when my child is a victim I report it to the proper people.
    I know that my philosophy goes against what you wish to achieve to further your political aspirations.
    By the way have you checked into the English/Spanish language program that maybe pose can assist with? Govt money out there and I’m sure they could find this a worthwhile endeavor. Heck you could even say it was your idea.
    No reply is necessary as you are practicing politics with your responses. Politicians ask questions with questions and never seem to give direct answers.

  2. I will ask the question as I didn’t watch the circus in its entirety, have the students reported this bullying to the proper authorities? If not how is suppose to be addressed? If the particular student acted out because of the bullying and hit someone then yes that student should have been punished.
    This isn’t biblical times, it’s not an eye for eye…
    Report it to administration or the police.
    In regards to the mayors comments, I’ll refrain other than to suggest he look at history and school violence. None of those acts were likely to happen either.

    • Mr. Dan, I have already answered you on your other comment. Yes if you continue to watch the youth and parents did report the bullying. However I continue to repeat that I am not just talking about bullying. Thank you.

  3. Anyone who believes for a second that the survey conducted by POSE provides objective, unbiased information and is a tool by which school administrators can make policy decisions is a fool.

    It is no secret in Haverhill at this point that Ms. Hobbs-Everett and POSE is a race based special interest group. Although she denies it publicly, Ms. Hobbs-Everett works closely with the Spanish race based group The Haverhill Hispanic Coalition. Their collective agenda is to push a victimization mindset, and completely ignore individual responsibility

    If their kids aren’t succeeding academically, then the schools need more Spanish language resources.
    If their kids get in a fight in school, then the teachers aren’t working hard enough to stop it.
    If their kids are taking drugs on the playground, then we need more cops in the schools.

    Collectively, this group of people are trying to hijack school resources as a direct result of their own failings and lack of achievement. This is the mindset that has been created in our out of control liberal society. People refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions and then look to government to correct it.

    Paul Magliocchetti… “where they fit in the demographic and which subgroup they fall into…”
    Are you kidding? Enough of the BS already!!! You know damn well what subgroup is the issue here. It’s time that the entire Haverhill community put aside political correctness and call these groups out publicly for the Spanish ONLY race based advocacy groups that they are. Let’s not forget what we have experienced with these groups over the past several months….many of the people in these groups are not even citizens of this country!!! Yet here they are having representatives of government sponsoring meetings on their behalf to discuss policy issues for which they have absolutely right to in the first place. It’s insanity !!

    I would hope that school committee members learned a lesson from Supt. Scully when he fired problem employee Graciela Trilla. Start calling these people out for what they are and just say “NO” to their demands as Scully did. It’s a complete waste of time and resources.

    • Mr. Jack,
      Your comments are always a fun read, however untrue or irrelevant. If you take the time to do a simple DESE search you would find that the population in greatest need in Haverhill Schools it is HIGH NEEDS, LOW-INCOME, WHITE, MALES. Particularly those with DISABILITIES. This is also something I’ve been saying since I approached the school committee way back in February of 2015. Presentation can be viewed here: I come on about 2:41:55 in this session, but the whole meeting is extremely interesting to listen to. http://haverhillcommunitytv.org/video/haverhill-school-committee-meeting-01-22-2015. At this time the Superintendent was extremely willing and interested in working with us, I feel largely because he acknowledged these issues. Which still remain. (Some links were removed by the editor.)

  4. The rich Attorney Paul Maggliochetti who was given all of his money is now the advocate for low income people? Wow, liberals will try anything to stay elected. A fake untrustworthy lawyer. Thats different!