EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – After an incident of violence on campus, Easthampton High School has come up with a plan to combat hate among students.
It’s been 2 weeks since a student who allegedly used a racial slur on social media was physically assaulted by several students in the school parking lot. Three students were arrested on assault and battery charges.
“I am disappointed that it won’t stop,” said Anne Parker of Northampton. “If there was a shield and you couldn’t see who it was, you might really like this person and they might be your very best friend.”
A week later, parents called for principal Kevin Burke to be removed for failing to act on reports of bullying. On Tuesday, the school committee held a meeting, that’s where the principal and superintendent announced they’re developing a 3 year plan to combat hate and bullying on campus.
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School Superintendent Nancy Follansbee said the first step is to form focus groups for students, staff, and parents to discuss concrete ways the school can show they don’t tolerate hate. The first student focus group was held Wednesday, facilitated by the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton. Superintendent Follansbee released a statement; “We cannot change what has happened in the past, but we can learn from those experiences.”
Easthampton resident Barbara Nalewanski told 22News, “Anything is a start, with the fact that you’re going to go to a 3 year plan and bring all of those people together. Maybe if they had a chance to sit down, they would’ve been able to do that, and they should’ve done that before it escalated into bullying.”
The forums will go on throughout this week, and pick up immediately after the Easter Break.#nohatehere Tweets