Consentino Parents Share Safety ‘Fears’ With Marotta Amid Haverhill School Strife

Consentino School (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

A group of parents from Consentino Middle School met with Haverhill Public Schools Superintendent Margaret Marotta last week to argue for a “more effective approach” in dealing with both students and families in the wake of several incidents of school violence.

The intimate group joined Margaret Marotta to voice concerns during a Wednesday night session organized by Mount Washington parent Mirca Mejias, who tells WHAV the meeting was a productive way to make feelings heard on issues of school safety and equity.

“Parents talked about their fears and a desire for a more effective approach in dealing with students and families,” Mejias told WHAV. “The meeting was an important first step to make parents’ voices heard that are often missing during citywide conversations.”

Marotta told WHAV she agreed to meet with the group regularly moving forward. One key item of discussion Marotta plans to action is the possibility of having more active school councils, which include principals, parents, teachers and community members and students who work together to shape school policies and programs.

In recent weeks, Haverhill Public Schools have seen several incidents of school violence to put parents on notice. The night before the meeting with Marotta, a Consentino student used social media to threaten to attack a classmate with a weapon. Earlier this spring, Boardman Street’s Nettle Middle School received what Haverhill Police told WHAV were “non-credible” bomb threats.

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