Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

Press Release – January 25, 2013

Posted on: January 25, 2013

Comment on the situation of the student pledge at Northampton High School:

The finding of a threatening note at the high school in December started a series of events and decision-making at the high school.  Our first and foremost concern was for the safety and security of students and staff.  The events of Newtown, CT the previous week deeply influenced our reactions.  The idea of a student writing sample was suggested during the faculty meeting on Thursday along with many other ideas.  Members of the police department also attended this meeting to gather information, support us, and advise our decision-making.

On Friday morning, the police detective working with Associate Principal Bryan Lombardi, suggested the writing sample protocol and confirmed the support of the D.A.’s office.  Bryan Lombardi responded by moving this idea forward and communicated with the faculty through email regarding the procedure.  Teachers followed through with the activity and, when principal Nancy Athas arrived afterward, she was informed and then made me aware of what had occurred.

I support the work of our high school teachers, administrators, and police officers.  We have a high quality group of professionals working for the people of Northampton.  In this case, fair criticisms have been raised about how we handled this situation.  We have reviewed our communication and decision-making protocols; now, and in the future, we will gather more people and perspectives around the situation, respect the trusting relationship we have with our students and families, and we will work to resolve future crises in a proper and respectful manner.

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1 Response to "Press Release – January 25, 2013"

Thank you for handling this complex legal issue of the relationship of teachers and administrators with the criminal justice system so delicately and even handedly. You did the right thing.

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