School Officials to Address Poorly Maintained Shortcut Used by Students

Mirca Mejias asks for help making a shortcut safer for students. (WHAV News photograph.)

The path at the center of concern was snow-covered this week. (Courtesy photograph.)

School officials will look more closely at an informal path Consentino and Silver Hill students use as a shortcut after parents called it dangerous.

Mirca Mejias told Haverhill School Committee members Thursday night the path should be patrolled by security, cleaned of snow and cleared of dangerous tree limbs. Worse, she added, the area is a haven for fighting.

“This is also a pathway where people—children—meet up to fight, bully, one another, and it’s not safe,” she said.

Meijas said students must use the alleyway because sidewalks along Washington Street near the two schools are either inadequate or unsafe to use. This week, that path behind Silver Hill School and leading to Silver Street was completely snow covered. She added, children lack appropriate winter clothing and boots to make the trek.

Parent Joanna Dix backed the claims, telling the committee she has broken up fights along the path herself.

While it is not clear the roadway is on school property, Superintendent Margaret Marotta said she has ordered school security staff to patrol it an extra half hour before and after school. She agreed, “We can’t have kids fighting on the back path.”

School Committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti suggested the city’s legal department find out who is responsible for the road, while member Scott W. Wood Jr. questioned whether school security would be liable for incidents there.