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3-12-15 Parent/Guardian Letter from Principal

posted Mar 12, 2015, 4:17 PM by Massabesic highschool
Dear Parents & Guardians:

Many of you have probably already heard about an unfortunate incident, which occurred at our school last
Friday. Three of our young people were involved in an incident on Friday AM, as one of our students
attacked another Massabesic High School Student during the class transition from Block 2 to Block 3
between our two buildings. This is obviously terrible and very upsetting for the student who was attacked,
her family and our entire school community. We are giving any and all support to the young lady who was
attacked and I am glad to say she has returned to MHS fully supported by her family, friends and our staff.
Please join me in sending out our best wishes to her and her family.

Please know that the most important concern we have for the students and staff at our school is for their
safety and wellbeing. We have student supervision procedures and plans in place to put as many of our staff
as possible in position to support students when needed. Any time we have a student safety incident occur
we immediately review our procedures and plans. In this instance, we immediately looked into where our
outside duty staff is placed, as it is not the case, as some are saying, that we did not have supervision in
place. We had two duty staff within sight of the location where this terrible incident took place. We are
presently trying to determine why our duty staff did not immediately see this incident and whether we need
to readjust the placement of our outside staff.

I know that the above statement is of little value to those who have been harmed in this instance and for
that I am truly sorry. I also know that to those that wonder if Massabesic High School is safe for their most
valuable possession, their children, to attend, our student supervision plans did not seem to matter in this
incident. I wish I could promise you that we are able to stop all improper acts by students, but we can't. If a
student has a pre-mediated notion in their mind to hurt someone the chances are that we won't be able to
stop it. What I can tell you is that we have plans, procedures and staff in place to follow what we feel is a
well-thought out safety plan. A plan that is place to help as many of our kids feel safe and for MHS Staff to
be available to them when needed.

Even though this incident is NOT representative of our students, school and district, it is distressing and
hurtful to all of us at MHS and within our district. We want better for all of our students and we will
continue to strive to stop these kinds of incidents from happening.

The simple fact is that from time to time fights and/or attacks do occur in our school and in every high
school in America. This does not mean that we need to live with this fact, but instead need to continue to
strive to reduce them from happening. We do this by both researching what other schools do and by
learning from each incident that unfortunately occurs. I do need to share that the student supervision
procedures and plans we have in place at MHS have in fact, in other instances, done what they are set up to
do. Please know that my staff has intervened when students have gotten angry at each other in other
instances. I am sorry to say that no plan is perfect.

What makes this attack stand out, besides the severity of it on one of my students and the fact that my staff
was not able to intervene is that this incident was filmed. A 3rd MHS Student filmed it and then shared it,
another poor decision by one of our young people. The other concern that makes this incident stand out is
that some of our young people could have intervened, but did not. We are looking at why this happened and
will be looking at what our next steps should be on this point.

In closing I want to reiterate our support for the young lady who was attacked, she did not deserve this!
No one deserves this to happen to them. You have my word that we will continue to strive to make
MHS as safe as we can for each and every one of your sons and daughters!

Very truly yours,
Christian M. Elkington
Principal
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