Blue City School Asks Governor To Send In National Guard To Tame Student Violence, Drug Use

Soldiers from the Massachusetts Army National Guard stand in formation during ceremonies marking the 378th anniversary of the First Muster of troops on Salem Common in Salem, Massachusetts, Saturday, April 11, 2015. The annual ceremony commemerates the first formation of the East Regiment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony militia, held on Salem Common in the spring of 1637, which stands as the birth of the National Guard and the American military. The original regiments that formed continue to serve as the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment; the 101st Engineer Battalion; the 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment and the 1st Battalion, 181st Infantry Regiment. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy)

Officials at a high school near Boston have asked Democratic Gov. Maura Healey of Massachusetts to send the National Guard to address increasing violence and drug use, according to a letter.

A majority of the Brockton School Committee asked for the support, citing security concerns stemming from verbal abuse of staff, drug use and fighting in the hallways, The Associated Press reported. Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan forwarded the request to Healey in his capacity as chairman of the committee.

“Over the past few months, our high school has experienced a disturbing increase in incidents related to violence, security concerns, and substance abuse,” committee members Claudio Gomes, Ana Oliver, Tony Rodrigues and Joyce Asack wrote in a letter making the request for the National Guard to step in. “The situation has reached a critical point, more recently we had an alarming 35 teachers absent, underscoring the severity of the challenges we are facing.”

“Instances of students wandering the halls, engaging in altercations, and causing disruptions in classrooms have become alarmingly frequent. These incidents are not only undermining the learning environment but are also jeopardizing the integrity of the statewide testing process. As concerned members of the school committee, we are reaching out to you with the hope that the City and State can provide assistance and support in addressing this urgent matter,” Gomes, Oliver, Rodrigues and Asack wrote.

“Over the past several weeks, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of students leaving the school premises without proper authorization. This unauthorized departure is a result of a lack of adequate staffing to monitor exits and entrances effectively,” the letter says.

The committee members said the National Guard troops could serve as hall monitors or substitute teachers. Opponents of the proposal said the National Guard was not the answer.



“Soldiers in military field uniforms aren’t the answer,” City Councilor Winthrop Farwell, Jr. posted on Facebook. “Convene a committee of classroom teachers (as opposed to administrators) and let that committee provide their input and recommendations on how to deal with the escalating problems in schools.”

“Classroom teachers are closest to the students,” Farwell continued. “Select the independent minded educators, not anyone who wants to ‘curry favor’ with the school administration. We have the talent to create a positive learning atmosphere if we listen to our teaching staff. They know, they care, they can guide us to success.”

Teachers at the school made tearful pleas for help during a January meeting, CBS Boston reported.

“This year has killed me,” Brockton High teacher Julie Fairfield told the committee, according to the local CBS affiliate. “I have this last month been one of those teachers that has called out probably twice a week.”

Healey did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Harold Hutchison on February 19, 2024

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments