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Hartsbrook School Hadley, MA
"A teacher hit my child and she's still here."
That's what one parent stood up and announced at a high school parent evening at the Hartsbrook School. Why was this teacher not dismissed? A Hartsbrook School athletic coach was dismissed the day after he let students kick soccer balls at another child. Why was this teacher kept on after much more serious abuse?
We have heard that after many lengthy announcements and discussions at the same parent evening there was suddenly no time to discuss this much more important issue brought up by his mother. After just one sentence of her announcement the meeting was broken up and parents were quickly sent off to activities in the classrooms. The teacher accused of the abuse had taken a two week vacation and then returned to school as if nothing had happened. She continues to teach a dance class at the Hartsbrook School to all the elementary and middle school grades. The homeroom teacher of this student's grade refused to hold a meeting and discuss the issue with parents after repeated requests. By the end of the next year half of her students had left the school.
Why was this teacher kept on when elsewhere others are fired for much less serious transgressions? Why was there no discussion with parents? Why did the school do nothing except try to hush it up?
Since discussion was suppressed at the school all that we have heard is from the playground and in the parking lot. This is what we hear: this teacher is regularly flying off the handle with fits of screaming. The children report that she often loses her temper and has thrown chairs across the room when she is unable to keep her cool. The children are scared of her.
How has the Hartsbrook School justified keeping her? What we have heard is that they have tried to blame the child and the parents for the teacher's violent behavior! Immediately after she hit the boy she took him into the hall and told him that it was his fault that she hit him. Then they brought in the school board member and lawyer they use to strong-arm parents to tell the mother that it was because she is a bad parent. Somehow they want to believe it is the mother's fault the teacher hit her child?
Parents around the school report a smear campaign by the faculty about the child to try to redirect the guilt onto anybody except the one responsible. The story goes that she had to hit him because he is "too wiggly." This is a first grader. What first grader isn't wiggly and how does that make striking him an acceptable tactic? After being hit by a teacher that he loved and trusted the boy refused to come to school became generally fearful and transferred out.
Will the Hartsbrook School fix this and get rid of the real problem? Or will they try to hush it up and hope it goes away?
French cancelled against strong parental disapproval.
The Hartsbrook School cancelled its popular French Language Program and kept the very unpopular German. The powers that be had already made up their mind to follow their own agenda then pretended to publicly solicit parent feedback while behind the scenes admitting they weren't going to let parents have a say. Their response to the children's parents who were partway through their studies was tough luck we don't have to listen to you. This was covered up with multiple claims about how much parents were involved though their story is full of holes.
Read the full story here.
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