The Boston school committee on Thursday voted 5-0, with one abstention, to close the Mission Hill Okay-8 School in Jamaica Plain, the place kids as younger as 5 allegedly had been victims of bullying and bodily and sexual abuse by different college students.
“I imagine this resolution, as painful as it’s, places our district on a path towards therapeutic,” stated school committee chair Jeri Robinson. “The security, well being and well-being of our college students should stay our prime precedence. We have quite a lot of work to do to rebuild belief with our households, and collectively, we are able to emerge from this a stronger district.”
Superintendent Brenda Cassellius had advisable that the school be shuttered in June after she employed the Boston legislation agency Hinkley Allen final fall to examine the allegations.
In a lately launched, 189-page report, investigators concluded Mission Hill was “a failed school, one which largely hid behind its autonomous standing and the philosophical beliefs of (two directors), typically to the detriment of the Boston Public School college students it served.”
“Far too many kids had been harmed…regardless of new school management,” Casselllius stated.
But Edith Bazile, founder and government director of Black Advocates for Educational Excellence, stated Cassellius was not with out blame as a result of she was superintendent for 3 of the roughly seven years the abuse allegedly went on.
“As mandated reporters of suspected little one abuse and neglect, she and her administration ought to instantly have intervened,” Bazile stated. “Instead, whereas the legislation agency was investigating, the abuse was nonetheless persevering with.”
Hinkley Allen’s report cited one little one – recognized solely as Mission Hill, or MH, Student 1 – who repeatedly sexually abused different college students in a one-person toilet and elsewhere within the school. Rather than instantly reporting the incidents to the state Department of Children and Families, as required by legislation, workers initially recommended placing bells on the toilet door, stationing an intern outdoors the toilet or having two adults accompany Student 1 always.
These actions led to “troubling patterns of unsafe sexual conduct, bullying and bodily violence to proceed unabated,” the report stated.
Staff who tried to intervene and report the suspected abuse had been met with retaliation by school directors, the report stated.
Investigators additionally discovered that the school operated its personal e mail server, and firstly of the investigation, the emails of the school chief and different workers members had been deleted.