‘You lack answers’: Community pleads for solution to turmoil at Brockton High School

BROCKTON, Mass. — Community members who attended a special school committee meeting to address safety concerns at Brockton High left with few answers about a plan moving forward.

The meeting came one day after Governor Maura Healey denied a request from some school committee members to bring in the National Guard.

Teachers, parents and students have been complaining about everything from fights to sexual activity on school grounds to vaping and drug use in the bathrooms.

16 people signed up for public comment Tuesday night, and some criticized what they called a damaging ‘political stunt’.

“We’ve heard some of those consequences about the narrative that is being created about the blackest city in Massachusetts,” said Rahsaan Hall, President and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.

Community members said they are losing hope that the district is any closer to addressing the violence and disciplinary problems at the largest high school in Massachusetts of about 3,600 students.

“You lack answers. It’s crucial to listen, collaborate and act with the community rather than imposing flawed strategies like involving the National Guard or increasing suspensions,” said sophomore Isabela Katzki.

Brockton Police Chief Brenda Perez provided an update on security at Brockton High and gave some recommendations.

“We recommend that the district hire a school security director to oversee all safety and security planning and bring in all the necessary partners to include fire and police,” said Chief Perez.

Chief Perez said Brockton High’s current security plan is about 10 years old.

Perez also recommended some immediate measures like locking unoccupied classrooms and actively monitoring surveillance cameras.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mayor Robert F. Sullivan said the following:

“My administration is diligently working with our partners at the local, state, and federal level to bring stability to our school budget and safety to our schools. We are looking to our elected officials at the state level for assistance and guidance to ensure that our teachers and staff have the appropriate tools to provide safe learning environments. We have been and will continue to collaborate with all partners who will work with us to improve our schools and return the focus to creating a safe and vibrant environment where our students and educators will thrive.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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