BPS Superintendent calls for Mission Hill school to close due to report of sexual misconduct


The report deemed the school a “failed establishment.”

Mission HIll School in Jamaica Plain. (David L Ryan/Globe Staff)

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius is looking for the Mission Hill School in Jamaica Plain to close in mild of a new and damning report that alleges the school has neglected allegations of sexual abuse and bullying and uncared for college students with disabilities for years.

The 189-page report by Boston legislation agency Hinckley Allen was sparked by a number of complaints from mother and father of college students on the Mission Hill Okay-8 School.

The mother and father claimed that school officers ignored bullying on the school, and individually, 5 households alleged that one pupil repeatedly sexually abused their kids.

In the report, investigators element much more allegations of bullying and sexual misconduct on the school, in addition to a “pervasive indifference” by directors to these allegations, deeming the school a “failed establishment.”

Investigators carried out 65 interviews and went by way of 2 million paperwork, and located 102 incidents of sexually inappropriate behaviors by college students between September 2013 to February 2021.

Only 45 of the incidents had been recorded on official incident experiences.

Investigators additionally alleged the school failed particular schooling college students due to its philosophy that “every baby is particular and learns at their very own tempo.”

This assumption led to negligence in diagnosing studying disabilities and indifference to illiteracy amongst older college students, the report says.

At a Boston Public Schools School Committee assembly Wednesday night time, The Boston Globe reported, Cassellius really helpful closing the school after the tip of the school 12 months in June. The school’s two co-principals had been positioned on go away in August 2021.

“As an educator for over 30 years, it’s one of the toughest issues I’ve ever had to learn,” the superintendent instructed the Globe, noting that almost all of the misconduct preceded her tenure.

“It is necessary that we’re holding ourselves accountable proper now and validating these households who’ve had ache for many, a few years, and starting the therapeutic course of.”

Cassellius instructed the Globe that the district will enact reforms in response to the report, together with better oversight of autonomous pilot faculties equivalent to Mission Hill, that are allowed extra freedom with reference to hiring and curriculum.

In the report, investigators alleged that some school officers hid info from investigators by utilizing a separate e-mail server and deleting at the very least three necessary worker e-mail accounts whereas the school was underneath investigation.

Ultimately, investigators nonetheless discovered “an image of a failed school, one which largely hid behind its autonomous standing and the philosophical beliefs of [its founder and former leaders], typically to the detriment of the Boston Public School college students it served.”

If the school had been to close, the newspaper reported, 200 college students in grades kindergarten by way of eighth grade would want to be moved to different faculties. The Globe mentioned the district had already recognized 400 seats that they may take.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu mentioned in an announcement that she was “devastated” by the report.

“While closure isn’t a straightforward determination, on this case, it’s the proper one,” Wu mentioned, promising to enact “accountability to each stage of the district.”


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