Students brave to protest

Governor Maura Healey, Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll, US Attorney Rachael Rollins on top and Attorney General Andrea Campbell and Diana DiZoglio State Auditor below.

Mostly Black, Brown and Hispanic Everett High School students were brave to protest last week in front of city hall.

Black’s, Browns and Hispanics protesting publicly against the actions of white elected public officials here can be dangerous business, especially for young adults wanting to express themselves without getting themselves in trouble.

They came to protest the School Committee’s refusal to extend Superintendent Priya Tahiliani’s contract.

Mostly, they shouted in protest about the mayor, although six white members of the School Committee (including the mayor) refused to vote for Tahiliani, who is a woman of color.

Two members said they were refusing to vote for Tahiliani because so many people had reached out to them asking them to vote for her.

How’s that for logic?

Several others, including the mayor, said nothing but the word “no” when they were asked to vote.

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A vote without a conscience

The failure of the School Committee to extend the contract for School Superintendent Priya Tahiliani flies in the face of common sense.

By any standard of relevant measure, Tahiliani has performed well enough to receive an extension.

Two months ago, as noted by former Chair of the School Committee Jean Cristiano, Tahiliani had received good grades on her reviews by the School Committee.

Monday night, it was as though the world had been turned upside down for the young and assertive school superintendent who has somehow managed to survive the nominal, perpetual state of political war being waged here for about 3 years.

“Can you imagine getting good reviews from the membership two months ago and the same people taking your job from you two months later?” Cristiano said during the meeting.

“What is one to think of that?” she wondered.

Cristiano’s reasoning is that of a fair minded, independent voice.

She came into office opposed to Tahiliani.

Over time she became impressed with Tahiliani.

She came to admire her.

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Innocent or guilty?

If you’ve been following this high profile trial, then you probably have an opinion whether or not Alex Murdaugh is innocent or guilty of killing his wife and son as his world was coming apart a year ago.

Alex Murdaugh

He was South Carolina’s most successful lawyer who came from a prestigious family of basically untouchable, privileged, white South Carolina folk.

After it was revealed Murdaugh had been stealing millions from his law firm and his clients for years, his wife and son showed up dead at a kennel they own on their sprawling property.

Then Murdagh allegedly hired a man to kill him so his surviving son could inherit the insurance policy had on his life.

He survived the botched suicide.

The state says Murdaugh killed his wife and son to save his own skin, to deflect from his own life falling apart and to bring pity to him.

He says he has lied. But he denies killing his wife and son.

At the time of the slayings, Murdaugh was taking something like 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams of oxycodone a day by his own admission.

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Black History Month

We believe that Frederick Douglas’ keynote address at the Independence Day on July 5, 1852, is among the best of litany about the profound discussions of the Black man’s struggle for equality and justice in America.

His speech, given at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, was held at the Corinthian Hall Rochester, New York. It was a scathing speech in which Douglass stated, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine, You may rejoice, I must mourn.”

“What to the slave is the Fourth of July?”

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too Ñ great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory….

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The higher you’ve climbed the greater the fall

(Photo by Joe Resnek)

The conviction last week of Frederick F. Foresteire on two counts of indecent assault against a former School Department employee was met with shock and awe throughout the city of Everett.

His immediate handcuffing and incarceration at the Billerica House of Correction marked a new low in the city’s struggles to come to terms with a powerful leader, who ran the School Department with an iron fist, who professed his innocence, but who was found guilty by a jury of his peers.

For the woman who made the accusations, and for the women and men of this city who followed closely Foresteire’s trial, his conviction is only partly satisfying as she must live a lifetime with the detrimental effects of the harassment she endured.

Foresteire was among the most powerful political and administrative figures in the city’s history.

Many assert that he ran the School Department with a heavy hand.

Many more have denounced his dictatorial tendencies, which, they said, led to Foresteire overreaching his position from time to time throughout the years.

Fear of losing one’s job for failure to adapt to Foresteire’s Draconian code was paramount, or so said the victim of his indecent assaults on her over the years.

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