School Security Questioned Following Response to High School Lockdown

Everett High School. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Intense Statements/Discussion About Safety

By Josh Resnek

Nearly two hours of heated and at time passionate debate, and a succession of gut wrenching statements from parents of Everett High School students delivered during the public speaking session before the meeting produced profound interactions between School Committee members, police officials, the school superintendent and the public.

The issue: the safety protocols in force and what is being proposed and in the pipeline to tamp down violence which has been plaguing the high school.

Secondarily, a great deal of time was spent detailing the response of all Everett public officials and school administrators to the lock down of the high school necessitated by a call indicating there might be someone carrying a gun and planning to use it inside the school.

Police Chief Steve Mazzie told the School committee he believed the right call had been made and the right thing had been done by nearly everyone involved during the incident.

He said no one was arrested. No weapons were found. The situation was resolved successfully without any students being injured.

That lockdown and the resulting angst it caused, was evident throughout the long debate about what was done, what should be done and what can be done to stop a situation like that from happening again.

Four parents of Everett High School students recalled their fears and terror after learning of the lockdown. They all complained about feeling helpless and of being left out of the loop when they believed their children’s lives were apparently being threatened.

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Primary Day ballot takes shape

JULY 10: Mayoral candidate Fred Capone makes a stop at a house that supports Ross Pietrantonio’s Ward 6 city council bid. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Deadline for signature certification closing in

By JOSH RESNEK

In the first wave, candidates tossed their hats into the ring. In the second wave, some have made final decisions to withdraw or to change their venue.

The councilor at-large race now has 11 candidates, nine of whom have been certified. Only Guerline Alcy and James Mastrocola have yet to submit their signatures. Incumbent Samantha Lambert, candidate Robert Santacroce, and Jenny Montresor have yet to have their signatures certified.

Catherine Hicks has stepped away from the at-large contest. She has withdrawn from this race, choosing to be on the ballot for School Committee Ward 6.

Councilor Wayne Matewsky, president of the city council, is one of the two candidates getting a free ride this time around.

No one has chosen to run against the longtime councilor, and one of the most popular political figures in the city.

Councilor Stephanie Martins is the other.

Longtime former councilor Jason Marcus has withdrawn from the Ward 2 race.

He is running for the school committee in Ward 2.

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Teachers’s union backs EPD in EHS

Helps maintain safe environment

By JOSH RESNEK

The Everett Teachers Union has backed keeping the Everett Police in the high school, where police have been aiding in keeping order and maintaining community relationships for two and a half decades.

Despite Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s call for defunding the police who serve inside the public schools, the ETU has held firm to its belief that more good than bad is done by a police presence at Everett High School.

“Our schools are provided an invaluable service by EPS Student Resource officers Lt. Tino Rozza, Sgt. Dennis O’Donnell, and Officers Pat Cassidy, Stephen Ramunno, Jillian Donnelly, and Eric Williamson are all an integral part of the EPS Schools Family,” wrote Kimberly Auguer, President of the ETA.

Auger said the police serve a valuable role in maintaining safety inside the high school not only for students, but for educators and for everyone involved.

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