From My Corner: May 8, 2022

The superintendent has to go!                 

The furor is running high for the dismissal of Lawrence Public Schools’ Superintendent and she doesn’t realize it.  There’s a petition going around to get the public’s opinion along with the members of the City Councilor and she’s not faring well.

District C Councilor Gregory Del Rosario has sent copies of emails to the media inviting Superintendent of Schools Cynthia Paris to appear before the City Council.  Some of the emails are from the superintendent in response to the invites over the past five months giving different reasons for not attending.

Parents and employees of the public schools have complained that Ms. Paris is difficult to reach and is not proactive when presented with a problem.  She doesn’t understand that ignoring them or sending someone to appease the situation is not enough.

The Public Safety Committee of the City Council wanted to discuss the school violence incidents in several schools and invited her to appear before them a few times and each time, someone else responded by excusing her for having other commitments.  Most recently, as a result of the email sent by James Miele complaining about the lack of safety officers at the high school, Councilor Del Rosario wrote once again saying, “We need to talk to you at our Safety Committee meeting.  Please for once, show up and talk to us and our community.”

There was another incident at the Arlington School in which a female student was hurt.  Councilors Del Rosario and Pavel Payano insisted that she gives the necessary attention to this issue.  Payano wrote, “One of our constituents, Joanny Shephard, is requesting a meeting with your office and the Principal of the Arlington Middle School.  I am hoping that you might be able to help us organize that.”

Superintendent Paris sent him a message stating, “I have spoken to the principal at Arlington Middle regarding this incident.  Arlington staff is working with Ms. Shepard and will reach out to her to further address her concerns.  Additionally, a member of the Family Resource Center will be meeting with Ms. Shepard.”

One of the responses from the superintendent to Gregory Del Rosario made it clear to all that she expects us to take care of her job when she said, “Gregory, we ask that elected officials encourage families to work with school-based staff to problem solve issues and thank you in advance for supporting LPS.”

I must say that the City Council Members are at fault for not following up with problems.  Too many items are tabled at their meetings never to be seen again.  This is a good example of that.  The meetings that she was being asked to attend were in reference to an incident at LHS item #229/21 filed by Councilor Ana Levy, and item #356/19 Lawrence Public Schools – Public Safety – by Pavel Payano.

Payano has a terrible attendance at meetings (full council and committees) so something brought up in 2019 about public safety in Lawrence High School should have been dealt with immediacy, not three years later. You are at fault!

The same goes for Councilor Levy.  If you were concerned enough in 2021 about “incidents at LHS” you could have made some noise.  I know that towards the end of 2021 you had to miss many meetings but someone else should have to be on the alert.  We don’t know how serious the situation is because there is a code of silence in the school system and the press never gets to hear anything.


Violence at LHS

If you believe that we are exaggerating this issue, take a look at the piece published by TB Daily News, an online publication.  I am not subscribed to it and this type of publicity hurt me because this is the impression readers will have of our city.

I decided to enclose it because everyone should see that teaching in Lawrence is not easy and Superintendent Paris probably has never heard details such as those exposed here.  She is responsible for the prevalence of these encounters and she will be responsible if we have worse outcomes as a result of her negligence.

Parents, defend the safety of your children!  We all need to protest and demand that their security is above all.


Sex education at LPS

They may not want to give me the curriculum I asked for but I continue my search for what they are teaching at Lawrence Public Schools.

A couple approached me because they follow my column and told me about the incident at their child’s school.  They went to pick him up because he had a dentist appointment and the female teacher came to unlock the classroom door.

Suddenly, they froze when the deep masculine voice asked for the kid’s name.  They looked at each other confused.  Once they were in their car they asked the child if that was a man or a woman.  The response was, “Oh, he’s a man and changes clothes and makeup when he arrives and changes back before he leaves.”

Would you feel comfortable knowing that your child was in that classroom?

It’s fine with me if he goes out in those garbs or wears them at home, but in the classroom, I wonder what else is going on.

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