From My Corner: January 8, 2023


Something is happening at LCAT.  There are indications that the city has told Lawrence Community Access Television that they have 90 days to turn the administration of Channel 22 and Channel 8 to the people.

I had lost all hope and stopped complaining because I thought it would never happen.  I have to find out more about this and bring it to you next week.


This is not the country of my refuge

With all the violence going on in the world (and this country), we feel lucky to live in this area and particularly in Lawrence where not much of anything is happening.  Well, it depends on how much we get to hear because we are news-deprived.

Do you remember the William Lantigua administration?  Trucks from all the Boston television stations were permanently parked in front of City Hall and all news programs appeared to have the same script: negativity toward Lawrence.  Police Chief John Romero loved being on television and didn’t hesitate to call the media when something was happening – no matter how menial.

It’s best to be aware of what affects our city because we can buy locks for our doors and surveillance cameras for our homes; but if we don’t know what dangers loom ahead, how would we protect ourselves?

Most of the time we find out about school violence because students love to post videos of fights on social media but we never hear about disciplinary measures or what happened to them, so we assume it wasn’t so bad.

Right now in Virginia, there’s a teacher in critical condition from a shot by a student.  Awful, right, but the fact that the child was 6 years old is difficult to comprehend.  What are we doing to this generation?  Between drugs, alcohol, violent video games, lack of discipline enforcement, and lack of education in our schools (nationally) we cannot expect anything less.

In Boston, the City Council is asking Mayor Michelle Wu to place police officers in all the schools due to the increase in violence among students.  Just this week, a few students jumped a teacher who was walking a student home after classes ended when two to three female students jumped them and began assaulting them, according to an article in the Boston Herald.

“Witnesses told police three of the girls were seen repeatedly punching the teacher as she lay on the ground, shielding the student with her body, and one student was seen jumping off a ledge and kicking at the teacher,” said the article.  The teacher and student were hospitalized.

They are requesting the return of non-invasive technology such as metal detectors as well, which is not a bad idea for Lawrence’s schools.

For years, I have been asking the Lawrence Public Schools for information on many issues and there was only silence.  A couple of years ago, I accompanied the mother of an Arlington School student to find out what they were planning to do with her after being hurt when two other students played a prank learned on tik-tok. That resulted in the student being told not to return to school.  The victim stayed home-schooled and we never found out if the perpetrators were even disciplined.

The silence coming from the school system was insulting and no one would answer my questions.  The mayor and city councilors could not do anything because the school system is under state take-over.  So I depended on teachers, workers, parents, and anyone who would tell me what was going on but there was fear.

People in this city are paralyzed by fear of everything and don’t demand what’s rightfully theirs.  I’m not talking about violence; just asking why things are happening.

Finally, James Miele, a safety officer who retired last year from Lawrence High School and is suing the School Department for not receiving what was due him when he left last June, sent me two Freedom of Information Act requests from the schools and the Police Department.

That’s the only way to get some information because radio aficionados cannot monitor the police radios anymore since they changed the frequency and no one knows what’s happening.

Those documents showed that from 8/1/22 to 12/29/22 there were 157 incidents in the schools with 64 incidents in the high school alone having had 10 arrests.  This is alarming to me but I wonder how come we don’t hear about those cases.

At one time, there were 15 safety officers in the schools and now there are only 7 while so many school employees are very highly overpaid.  Let’s hope that Mayor Brian De Peña can get the schools back from receivership and take care of that situation.

I also hope that the mayor can find out what is being taught to our children regarding gender issues.  A judge in California recently ruled in favor of the mother of a 5-year-old that she wants to castrate and turn him into a girl.  The boy’s father couldn’t save him from the judge.

That is happening all over the country.  Right here in Ludlow, Massachusetts, teachers were told to encourage children to change their names and pronouns without the consent of their parents.  When they found out that this was going on, they sued the school system.

The judge ruled on Dec. 14 against the parents because the lawsuit failed to meet the “shocks-the-conscience” legal standard for due-process claims under the 14th Amendment, but he also scolded the school district for its policy to withhold students’ gender identities.

He ultimately decided that withholding information from the parents did not meet the threshold of being shocking to the conscience.

Is that happening in Lawrence?  I hope Mayor De Peña can also clarify what’s being taught in our schools and if there’s clarity for parents because it is.  For example, why do they allow a male teacher to change his clothing to female garb and change back before going home?

What is he trying to prove to his students and why do they allow him to do it?

We have so much work to do here!  The most important thing to do is learn to lose the fear and ask questions of our leaders.  Filling potholes doesn’t make for a safe city – people do!


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