FRAMINGHAM - Members of the Framingham School Committee were brought into the ongoing discourse regarding school safety during their meeting on Wednesday, February 7.
School Superintendent Dr. Robert Tremblay was present at the Memorial Building once again to continue the conversation about keeping students and staff members safe. Tremblay provided a presentation related to Framingham High School as well as the city’s school system as a whole during the City Council’s most recent meeting on February 6. Members of the school community have raised concerns recently regarding misbehavior, truancy, and violence at sites across Framingham.
Tremblay told committee members that Framingham Public Schools (FPS) is working to create a safety group to solicit input from administrators, teachers, and students. The superintendent added that the formation of that group is a part of their strategy in taking swift action in order to remedy safety issues while “(creating) a culture” for better behavior and accountability in the classroom and in the corridors.
“We’ve found that there’s a lot of opportunity for improvement,” Tremblay said.
“We found that there’s behavior plans and things that need to be addressed sooner that may not be implemented, or not implemented with fidelity.”
Members of the School Committee called for additional support in order to quell problems that are being caused by a small portion of the student population; during his appearance before the City Council, Tremblay outlined FPS' claim that 1.9% of the FHS student body has been responsible for “high level unsafe behaviors,” like fighting. District 7’s Tiffanie Maskell said there needs to be more clarity for practices through the district’s Code of Conduct, as she noted testimonies from some teachers who believe that the current system is not consistent enough.
“If our teachers don’t feel safe, our students can’t learn,” Maskell continued.
“If our students don’t feel safe, they’re lost. They might as well not come to school.”
Tremblay contended that the code itself is not the issue, but rather the implantation of the code in practice. He explained that the code provides restoration for conflict resolution while reiterating the fact that some students in question may have complex backgrounds and trauma that the school district must account for.
Both the School Committee and Tremblay were in agreement with the notion that clear behavioral expectations and direction for situations at all levels of FPS must be established.
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