National Guard at Brockton High School? Gov. Healey weighs in – NBC Boston | #schoolsaftey

Massachusetts’ governor has quashed a proposal to bring in the National Guard to help curb a spate of violence at Brockton High School.

But Gov. Maura Healey is offering support of another kind after four Brockton School Committee members requested she call in the soldiers to serve as hall monitors and substitute teachers.

“We just need to go forward and hopefully get all of the right pieces in place down there to make sure its safe and that students can learn in a safe environment,” Healey said Monday, as students returned to class from vacation week.

Her comments came as members of the community rallied to support the students. Videos have shown fights breaking out at the school, while the district faces an $18 million deficit.

Dozens of community members greeted Brockton High School students as they returned to school Monday amid a call from some elected officials to bring in the National Guard to help curb violence there.

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Healey said she didn’t think it would be appropriate to bring in the national guard, but said the state would provide a grant to pay for a public safety audit to ensure resources are in the right places.

Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan agrees. He and the district’s superintendent will deliver a safety plan to the school committee at Tuesday night’s meeting.

As the students and staff returned to classrooms Monday after February break, members of the Brockton school community were there to show their support.

Community members held a “community stand out” outside Brockton High School on Monday morning. Organizers encouraged people to come with signs of support “to encourage students and let them know the community is here for them.”

“I think it’ll send a positive message to them to let them know that the adults in their community are paying attention,” Urban League President and CEO and Brockton resident Rahsaan Hall said.

“I’ve seen a lot of smiles, so it definitely put a smile on my face, seeing the kids happy, you know, knowing that us in the community we’re here for them, we’re supporting them — anything they need, we’re here,” community leader Jamie Hodges said.

“Learn everything you can today!” one parent greeting the buses shouted.

As students and staff prepare to return to the classroom today after February break, members of the Brockton school community will be showing their support.

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Reaction from the community to the National Guard proposal was mixed.

Some have argued the Guard may be needed following an increase in violent fights inside the school, a lack of staff to keep students from cutting class, vaping, use of cell phones and assaults on staff members.

Others argue it’s not the role of the National Guard to enforce school rules, and that uniformed soldiers would send the wrong message to students.

The group of parents and community leaders outside the high school Monday said they were hoping to spread optimism in the wake of the National Guard request.

“This is going to show them that they’re not those kids that they’re talking about,” Brockton parent Ellie Teixeira said. “They’re not those bad kids that need the National Guard here.”

Some members of the Brockton School Committee have called for the National Guard to help curb violence at Brockton High School.

But the community is split over how to improve the situation at Brockton High School.

“I’d like the staff to be held accountable. I’d like the higher ups, the administrators, the principals to be held accountable, and I think with the National Guard here maybe the adults will be on their best behavior,” Brockton parent Victoria Giesta said.

“I do oppose it, I don’t think it’s the right endeavor, but what I didn’t oppose is sending it to the governor. Out of respect for the elected officials, just like I am, I sent it up there,” Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan said Monday.

Sullivan said he believes the state’s promise of a safety audit would better serve the school community and provide a longer-term solution for students, staff, and parents.

“I hear their frustrations, as the mayor, as a fellow parent, and we have to come up with a roundtable discussion and try to figure out how we can, number one, curb the violence, minimize it, get rid of it,” Sullivan said, “but also show the support and love.”

A school committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday night, and parents and the mayor said they plan to attend to continue to work on possible solutions.

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