By Josh Resnek
A small demonstration at the end of the Everett School Committee meeting Monday evening protested changes the school department made at the underperforming Parlin School for the new school year.
A group of protesters comprised of a few teachers, union members, and out-of-town activists apparently disgruntled by the changes made at the Parlin School, hooted and howled at members of the school committee at the end of the meeting.
“We will not be bullied and we will not allow ourselves to be shamed for shaking up the staff at the Parlin School,” said Superintendent of Schools Frederick Foresteire.
“With low scores and under- performance all around at the Parlin, we had to make changes in the teaching staff to insure that students in that school receive the very best they can from their teachers and administrators,” Foresteire added.
The changes weren’t all about teachers.
Michelle Crowell has been installed as the Parlin’s new principal. Ms. Crowell, according to teachers at the school, has a very strong presence.
The protesters at the end of the meeting complained loudly that the school department was defying open meeting laws, that is was biased against teachers and that it is opposed to union activities.
“The Parlin School was being hobbled by systemic problems not only limited to teachers. The underperformance of the students demanded action. This is why we have made dramatic changes. Teachers don’t like change. They are devoted to their students. It is regrettable that a small group of disgruntled out of towners and a few teachers tried to turn attention away from the school’s woeful underperformance and the positive changes we have made,” said Foresteire.
Everett has 650 teachers.
Approximately 10-15 teachers attended the meeting Monday night.
According to Foresteire, the EPS administration is thrilled with the job being done by the faculty. Good results, he said, are due to the hard work of the students, the teachers, and the staff. The effort is never ending, he added.
“We are always evaluating data and how we do things. We are duty-bound to perpetuate what works and revamp or eliminate what doesn’t. We place student achievement at the center of everything we do,” said Foresteire.
He said the small demonstration was more about bullying than anything else.
“We will not be bullied,” he repeated. “The Parlin School’s downward ride is over. The kids are more important than anything else.”