Massachusetts

With Mission Hill School Closing, Process of Placing Students Begins

It remains unclear exactly where students from the soon-to-be-shuttered K-8 school will wind up

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With Boston's Mission Hill School set to close at the end of the school year, officials have begun the process of placing students in other schools for the fall.

The decision to close the K-8 school in Jamaica Plain was made following a scathing report detailing the school’s failures, an independent investigation which found that the school failed to protect students from threats of sexual misconduct and abuse from other students.

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"The reports findings make clear that we must take significant action to immediately ensure the safety and well-being of our students and begin the healing process for the victims," Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said.

It remains unclear exactly where students from the soon-to-be-shuttered K-8 school will wind up.

However, not all parents are in agreement that the school should close.

"By closing our school, you’re creating more trauma on a larger scale," one parent said. "When I told my son about potential closure, he immediately collapsed to the ground and started sobbing."

Roughly 200 students attend the school.

“I don’t think closing the school is a solution. Probably the teachers and the people who work here, probably sit them down and figure out what’s really going on," said Glory Acevedo, the parent of a Mission Hill student.

One parent, who didn't give her name, says that the district could have handled the situation better.

"Their attitude is like, it’s not their problem, even though things have been going on for years that they didn’t address and now their response is to just shut it down," she said. "We were smart and investigated other options in January just in case because I had a feeling the superintendent, who is on her way out, would just close it."

Asked about the closing at an event Friday, Mayor Michelle Wu called it "an incredibly difficult situation for all of the families impacted" and all of the teachers who have poured themselves into the students during a very difficult time.

"There were no good choices here," she said. "We cannot turn a blind eye to what has been revealed in reports."

"At this point we're looking to help families heal, to move on... We have reserved seats for the students who need new schools. We're working with those students now to help connect them and make sure they're comfortable and feel good about what's next."

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