Dear Billy T and Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line,
I’m not sure if you are aware of the violence at SHS but multiple concerned parents are reaching out and want answers. They are hoping you can help by shedding some light on the truth.
SHS has minimal security. Multiple fights happen daily leading to many students and teachers being afraid to attend school. Police are not allowed to assist in schools because certain parents and THE school committee are blocking it.
On Monday, there were 5 fights at SHS. One which turned so ugly police were called and a student was detained. Another student somehow freed the student from back the police car and when the police officer responded he was attacked. This happened in front of several parents / staff in the school pick up lane. They sent out a letter totally lying and changing what happened. Channel 7 even just reported on it. These children have zero consequences.
Another major issue was just last week someone breeched Somerville High school during the day causing a lockdown. This person did not go to the school and is a known gang member. THIS information was purposely withheld from parents. Something needs to be done before someone is really hurt.
I am also sending a copy of the bogus email sent out to parents of SHS students today. More lies.
This is a joke! These kids can’t do anything wrong. Too much violence and zero reprimand. It’s awful up there! Someone is going to get really hurt!!!
A concerned parent
Letter sent out by City Hall:
Dear SHS and NWFC Parents, Guardians, and Staff:
We want to jointly address an incident that occurred Monday afternoon at dismissal time in front of Somerville High School involving a student and a Somerville Police officer.
Responding to a call from a Full Circle student’s family member to assist with a family matter, the SPD’s Juvenile Officer and a second uniformed officer arrived in separate vehicles at the main concourse to Somerville High School as SHS and Next Wave/Full Circle students were exiting the building during dismissal.
At the request of and with the parent’s permission, the student whose family member had contacted SPD agreed to be driven home by the Juvenile Officer and was in the back seat of the vehicle when a second Full Circle student then approached and opened the back door of the Juvenile Officer’s vehicle. The uniformed officer instructed the second student to step away as the officer approached the vehicle. The interaction escalated and led to physical contact and a tussle, resulting in the officer bringing the student to the ground. After the student and police officer regained their footing, school staff helped to de-escalate the situation and the student was escorted away by another student without further incident.
We are continuing to gather information to ensure that we have a complete and accurate accounting of all the facts regarding this event. Additionally, the Somerville Police Professional Standards Office has begun an internal investigation. We have been working together to ensure that we take the appropriate next steps to, first and foremost, support students as they process this event, but also to pave a way forward as a community.
We are taking all appropriate measures to fully understand and address all of the factors that led to this incident. We also believe that it is important to create opportunities for dialogue that will lead to stronger communities. Several students who witnessed the incident have contacted us to express their concerns. We appreciate and value their leadership and have reached out to them to be part of that dialogue, along with other students who want to be involved. We will be working with the Somerville High School and Next Wave/Full Circle teams to provide additional opportunities for active engagement in these conversations.
As we continue to live through unprecedented times, we are also committed to doing all we can to find the right way forward with our youth – a way forward that is built on trust and mutual respect.
Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and Superintendent Mary Skipper