At the April 12th school committee meeting, we saw on video why many members of our community believe our school superintendent and school committee do not care about community input to the point that it will not even acknowledge their mistakes – even though they are breaking state law.
Such an event occurred during the public session of this week’s school committee meeting when school activist, Gerry Mroz reminded the committee, as he has over the past two years, that the current secondary student handbook procedure on student suspensions is in violation of state law. He referenced the exact law and where in the handbook it violated state law. Not one member of the committee, including Ms. Taymore, commented about this until later when this subject was discussed among them when school committee member, Ed O’Connell asked Ms. Taymore to address Mr. Mroz’s comment.
Ms. Taymore stated that the current handbook description of student suspension and disciplinary actions is in compliance with state law and she read from an on-line copy of the handbook located on the school website that stated so. When she was questioned by Mr. O’Connell if she was reading from the handbook or from the State Law, she replied she was reading from the handbook. However, when I compared what she said on the video to what was written in the handbook - they did not match.
Our handbook does not require written notification to notify the student and the parent of any pending disciplinary action. This due process requirement was not included in the current handbook and is not included in the changes planned for the revised handbook. Later I found out that Ms. Taymore was most likely reading a summary statement from the state about what the law would include when it was to be passed back in 2012 (see video of April 12 meeting at time location 2:10:12). Ms. Taymore was told about this oversight over two years ago by the public and she and her staff did not take any action to correct the handbook and have been in violation of the law and its implementation of student disciplinary actions over this period.
The relevant section below is from the student handbook and you can see that there is no mention of a written notification to students and parents required. This legal oversight is more remarkable given that Middle and High school principals, Ms. Taymore, school committee and their legal staff reviewed the handbook.
"DISCIPLINARY DUE PROCESS"
"1. Short Term Disciplinary Sanctions: Prior to the imposition of any disciplinary sanction that may result in a student’s suspension from school for ten (10) consecutive school days or less, (other than those suspensions under M.G.L. c. §§ 37H and 37H 1/2) the student will be given oral notice of the offense with which he/she is charged and an opportunity to respond."
We look forward to the next school meeting to see if this legal oversight will be admitted by the Ms.Taymore and School Committee Chair Ms. Driscoll and corrected in the revised handbook.
Admit a mistake?
Take corrective action?
Treat public input with respect?
Expect any SC member to show leadership?
When Pigs Fly !!!!!
My jaw is on the floor.
Thank you for your diligence and letting the rest of us know. This is exactly why I read this site. Even with the occasional nastiness that occurs here due to anonymity, this site still remains a must-visit site for real information. The kind of information that isn't told by people drinking the kool aid. The kool aid that prevents them from seeing the actual truth.
When can we get rid of Taymore? Is her contract going to expire any time soon? Is she approaching the age for mandatory retirement? It should be obvious to anyone paying attention that she is utterly incompetent to do her job, and the School Committee is derelict in its duties by not firing her. Unfortunately, it is equally obvious that the current band of sycophants on the School Committee will never take steps to remove her. So, my question is: is there any hope for an end to this captivity of the MPS?
The only glimmer of hope I see is that Mr. O'Connell forced discussion of the issue raised by Mr. Mroz. I was dead set against having a convicted criminal on the School Committee, but maybe he is the one new face on the committee who is actually starting to do his job.
IF the super & the SC address the issue again, there will be some excuse. Blaming someone who is not them.
I haven't seen the meeting yet but thank goodness for Mr Mroz. And a nod of appreciation to Mr. O'Connell for forcing the issue. I know from prior viewing how Mr. Mroz gets ignored blatantly regardless of what he is saying.
This is yet another example of where the super & the SC could say, "Mr. Mroz, we will check into that because we want to make sure that the handbook is accurate." And then check into it and update if necessary. How difficult is it to add one or two sentences to comply with the law?
I used to see this with Mrs. K. She would make a suggestion or remind the rest of the SC of a legal requirement and they would pretend not to hear her. Many times it would be a change that was easy to make and not involve extra money.
Notice to parents whose children are facing suspension: Challenge the suspension especially if your child is on an IEP.
Just out of curiosity, does Mr. Mroz have any kids in the system. I would hope that he does, as he seems to spend a considerable amount of his free time at school committee meetings and reviewing MPS policy...the thing is I have heard that he doesn't. Any clue?
Why does it matter if he has kids? He is a taxpayer, and has as much right to make sure the school department doesn't waste his money (which they are) as anyone with kids in the system.
This handbook stuff is pure incompetence. When you know that adding something so simple will avoid problems in the future, and you just don't do it, you are incompetent.
It is about time that someone demand that the bright light of transparency be forced on the school committee and our school superintendent! I have also reviewed the video tape of the April 12th meeting and the handbook attached to the meeting packet and see the contradiction in Ms. Taymores comments. For this breach of truthfulness - she should be dismissed!
How can the senior administrator of our school system be told she violated state law for two years, not correct the problem, and remain in her position - while her annual performance evaluations show exemplary performance? I'll tell you how - when the Mayor and the school committee ignore public outcry, OCR findings and violations, complete disregard for due process for students, and instead cover-up for an incompetent superintendent and school committee.
I have to say up front - I sometimes have a difficult time with Mr Mroz's speaking style, and I don't always agree with what he has to say, but I will defend until the end of time his right to say it, whether I agree with him or not.
The attitude of the SC towards Mr. Mroz is nothing more than a reflection of the attitude of the Mayor, who is psychologically incapable of ever admitting that he was wrong or has made any kind of mistake. They take their cues from him and his behavior, which is to villify and/or ignore anyone who points out any flaw.
All you need do is take a look at his reaction when that idiotic scam of an override went down in flames. His very first reaction was to blame everybody in sight except himself. To those who opposed it, he ranted that it was now "your responsibility to come up with ways to increase funding" - like a spoiled 5 year old kid. He stamped his little feet, and now, rather than do the job he was elected to do, he's going to take his little ball and go home. Not surprising since he is a spoiled little brat, has always been a spoiled little brat, and probably will always be a spoiled little brat.
Oh yeah, he's "touchy" all right. Watched him trying to put his hands on CKK when she had to sit next to him (and her recoiling) repeatedly, when he wasn't busy engaging in rude and unprofessional chatter with his BFF Rob constantly during meetings. I saw him explode at GM Tuesday night, actually being verbally assaultive (screaming), just as LDS was in a crazy outburst a few weeks back (based on her mistaken belief that GM hadn't answered her calls, that he had never received, and hence by her self-serving rationale was just a lying hypocrite--not!). There is something very very wrong with the kinds of people serving on that board. It's so depressing because only a clean sweep would help, and that wouldn't fix the ignorance of the many naive parents who've supported these self-serving and in some cases mentally unstable members.
In the case of Tuesday's EOC attack against GM, it was about the missing due process clauses in the handbook that the SC had just voted unanimously to accept, even after it was pointed out that it was legally defective. They were more interested in removing hyphens (demonstrating their profound ignorance and foolishness) than in the legally binding content that has already caused harm.
I actually watched the taped meeting from April 12, and I called the Super's office to try to get her to explain to me what a tommyhawk is. She never called me back.
Actually, she is incognito - no one seems to be able to reach her - must be hiding under her desk with all the controversies swirling around.
After seeing their outrageous behavior over the last three years no one should be surprised that the superintendent and her "crack city legal counsel" knowingly and willingly provide false information about student and parent rights under state law on the school website and student handbooks. They have repeatedly been made aware of the improper definitions of "aggressor" and "bullying" on the school website's bullying and harassment policy at
They are in violation of State law as they flagrantly remove teachers and administrators as possible aggressors/perpetrators and retaliators from the State's mandated definition of "aggressor/perpetrator" and "bullying" at MGL CH 71 Sec 370. One could only assume that they pulled all district personnel out of the State mandated definitions so that parents would not be aware that the serious behavior we have seen of late from the superintendent, assistant superintendent, certain teachers, principals and city solicitor are violations of state law.
Melrose Schools version: AGGRESSOR is a STUDENT who engages in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation.
BULLYING, as defined in M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, is the repeated use by one or more STUDENTS of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:
Causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property
Places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or of damage to his or her property
Creates a hostile environment at school for the target
Infringes on the rights of the target at school
Materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school
Definitions as required by State Law MGL CH 71 Sec 370:
''Bullying'', the repeated use by one or more students or by a member of a school staff including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim's property; (ii) places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the victim; (iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. For the purposes of this section, bullying shall include cyber-bullying.
''Perpetrator'' (Aggressor), a student or a member of a school staff including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional who engages in bullying or retaliation. Don't hold your breath that they will suddenly make changes to come into compliance.
In a typical MFD lie he states "yes" to a question as to whether Mroz has kids in the system, and then goes on to state he does not...wrapped around some BS and an explanation that he used to have kids in the system. An honest answer would have simply been "no" he does not. Its relevant because the biggest whiners on this site who are constantly criticizing the school system don't have kids in it...and then try to tell parents who do have kids in it that they don't know what they are talking about if they are happy with their kids education. MFD, GM, CKK and hubby, PW...and on and on. The OCD of this crowd is amazing and if you were being honest with yourselves its driven far more by animosity with the Mayor and the administration than it is a desire to improve Melrose Public Schools. I encourage you all to attend the Melrose High School graduation, the upcoming Middle and High School plays, and the orchestra and band performances, along with any number of spring athletic contests...and check out the public school art show while you are at it. MHS kids are killing it in the classroom, in the arts and on the field. MHS is a great place to be right now...regardless of the obsessive and compulsive behavior emanating from people who have no direct contact with the school or the children in it.
Is it hard to see with your head up your a$$?
"It's about taxes" is again further evidence that the chorus of clowns are a bunch of Melrose Haters that don't send their kids to Melrose Public Schools and have an axe to grind with the Mayor or the administration. The Bozo Brigade couldn't be clearer in their pettiness and vindictiveness. "Taxes" post says it all.
Ahhh...waka, waka, waka
It is all about about the taxes. I don't expect someone who doesn't have kids in the school system to care about the nitty gritty such as how many recesses are in Kindergarten. But I do think that all citizens should be concerned with the city budget, of which the lion's share goes to the schools. How the school system operates concerns all residents.
Exactly! When I'm paying to help educate the children of others (which is a whole different issue we can debate another time) the number, if any, of children I have or have had in the system is irrelevant relative to my opinion.