Press Release from Boston S.O.S. (Safety of Our Schools).
Boston S.O.S. is a local community movement made up of parents, residents, clergy, and community leaders to bring awareness to the serious safety issues in Boston schools.
Recent school safety incidents give more evidence that we are in a school safety crisis. A teacher was assaulted at the Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School. Boston teacher injured intervening in fight between group of girls (wcvb.com) A brutal fight took place at Boston Latin Academy. (Fight at Boston Latin Academy Sends Student to the Hospital – NBC Boston). Students at TechBoston Academy are stabbed at a fight near the school. Three students at TechBoston Academy in Dorchester stabbed infight near school | Universal Hub)
This school safety crisis is taking place at a time when juvenile gun arrests have skyrocketed and adolescent victims of gun violence have increased substantially. Recently a twelve-year-old was arrested on gun charges while with a 16-year-old in a stolen car. (12-year-old arrested on gun charges in Dorchester after running from stolen car driven by a 16-year-old, police say | Universal Hub) This past Sunday an adolescent was killed in a daytime shooting. (1 teenager shot and killed in Mattapan in daytime shooting on Sunday, police say – Boston 25 News). Youth violence is taking place in public spaces, subway stations, and on MBTA buses like this incident when a group of teens attacked another group of teens on a bus with bricks. (Group of teens attack another group of teens and a window on a T bus with bricks; two injured, windows smashed, police say | Universal Hub)
We are calling on Mayor Wu and Boston school leadership to listen to the voices of parents who are alarmed about the increased level of youth violence in Boston schools, the parents who are grieving because their child was brutally assaulted in school, and the parents who simply want their child to be educated in a safe school.
Listen to Naomi Hastings, a mother who testified at a Boston City Council hearing about school safety on October 27, 2022. “I am a District 1 resident. I actually pulled my daughter from BPS because of how things were but I do have a toddler who will be starting BPS and I am hoping things will be better by the time she gets there. I want to speak to the violence that is happening in our city... My friend and co-worker, her son was truant from school on Monday. Instead of getting a call like we used to if I skipped school, my parents would get a call saying we weren’t there. She got a call saying her son was arrested with his friends, found with guns and ARs. That’s so scary! Her kid could have died that day…This generation feels like they are living in Grand Theft Auto. They have no value of life. The concept of village is gone… As a Black mother I can tell you I do want police in the schools. I do want metal detectors because these kids, like I said, think they are living in Grand Theft Auto. They have no value for life. They have no respect for adults anymore. It’s nothing for a fourteen-year-old to pull out a gun and shoot someone. People, we need to wake up!”
Hear Jean Lormine, the father of a student at the Edward Brooke Charter High School, as he tells the account of his son’s assault. “School should be one of the safest places for our children. Nowadays it becomes a very hostile environment where our children are bullied, harassed, assaulted, battered, strangled, almost murdered. This is the sad reality that my family had to experience on December 15th, 2022. Our son was attacked from behind by another student who punched him many times in the head, strangled and suffocated him until he lost consciousness. Afterwards the assailant slammed my son's head on the table and continue to punch him. And the most revolting thing is the school failure to report it to the Police. They tried to slide it under the carpet. For while my son was in ambulance going to the emergency room to be treated; the school called the other student's parents to pick him up from the school. What a great way for the school's leaders to handle a near death situation that occurred right inside of their cafeteria. I am wondering if there was a school police officer walking around while the scholars are at lunch, he could have prevented that incident. Whatever the current school system safety plan, it did not protect my son that December 15th, and did not even try to get my son justice after he was victimized. Finally I am strongly in favor of metal detectors at the entrances of our Boston schools and the return of school police to diminish the increasing flow of criminal activities inside of our Schools. For It is our responsibility to make sure that our teachers and our children are safe inside of our schools.”
For more information contact Rev. David Searles at 617-913-3396 or through www.bostonsos.com.