As you know this week has been a tough week for the students of Massabesic High School and "Mustang Nation" in general. Our first thoughts must go to the young lady who was attacked. I am happy to say that she has been at school all week and has and continues to be supported by and through the positive, caring efforts of many.
The feeding frenzy of both the local and national media has been shameful to say the least, with cameramen and reporters literally at one point running to try and stick a camera and microphone in the face of a student. The negativity, blame, attacks and untruths that have been shared on social media are both disgusting and revolting and more importantly not at all helpful to those who have been injured in this incident. Finally, information is being shared as fact that isn't and then being repeated, which only increases hurtful thoughts and responses from many. I can understand it from our young people who do not yet realize the harm that can occur from making hurtful comments and thinking that rumor is fact. The fact that many, many comments are coming from adults is truly disheartening, sad and only making things worse for our, my students and staff.
Massabesic High School is not perfect, no place is, but it is a good place with the BEST kids I have had the pleasure of working with! We have a good staff of caring people that want the best for your sons and daughters. Yes, there has been a terrible incident at our school that we can never forget andmust learn from. Yes we need to do everything we can to try and make sure something like this doesn't happen again!
This week we have not only been reviewing what happened, what things we could have done better, adjusting practices that were in place if needed, but also putting in the beginning pieces of our next steps. We are digging into some of the root causes that we see by both building on some of the work we already had started, along with looking at concerns students have shared with us this week. Today, we started a discussion in both short assemblies and then in Advisory Groups about what it means to be a Good Samaritan at MHS. One of the biggest concerns besides the well-being of the young lady who was attacked, is looking at why some of our students felt they could not get involved and/or intervene. Today, we made it clear that we were not, it was not our place, to instruct or expect students to get physically involved in an attack or fight, but to somehow get involved. The definition we used:
"MHS expects that all students can somehow safely get involved when a fellow student or an MHS staff member is in difficulty."
We will build on these initial discussions Monday with another important activity that focuses on safely intervening.
They say you are stronger when you come through difficulties and so this is just another hill we will need to climb as we move forward as a school community.
I will be sharing more information with you later this weekend about the work we have done and will be doing.
Thanks for your time!"
Massabesic High School
88 West Road
Waterboro, ME 04087