EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Some residents say that they are satisfied with the way Easthampton High School is handling reported hate speech on campus.
Annette Szczygiel is a school crossing guard who attended a school committee meeting on the subject Tuesday night. After hearing from parents and students about the issue, she wanted to hear from the committee about what’s really being done to stop the ongoing incidents. Allegations range from racial slurs to physical violence.
Dozens of city residents were in attendance at Tuesday night’s meeting. Superintendent Nancy Follsanbee told 22News that the first step they are taking is to hold focus groups for students, parents and staff, in order to document what specific problems are going on at the high school. The plan is to bring these focus groups to every school in the district.
“Start off slow, and just get people talking. The administration is going to try and really work hard, and I believe that they will. I felt good, when I left the meeting, that at least everyone’s trying,” Szczygiel said.
All of the focus groups are voluntary. Those who participate can ask to give information anonymously.
Class leaders of every grade have already participated in their own focus group. The first focus group for all other students begins this Thursday.
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