AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CITIZENS OF EVERETT
First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to the female student from Everett High School who was injured over the weekend as well as to her family.
Within the past several days, two different situations involving students in the Everett public schools have caused much sorrow in our community, and attracted the fervid interest of the news media. I’m speaking, of course, about the Everett High School senior who was seriously injured in an out-of-school-incident and the cell phone transmittal of inappropriate images by middle school students.
First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to the female student from Everett High School who was injured over the weekend, as well as to her family.
As a lifelong resident of Everett, as a parent and as the Superintendent of Schools, I share the emotions of every resident of Everett who is concerned and worried about these incidents. I want to assure my fellow citizens that the School Department has confronted these situations honestly, forthrightly and energetically. I speak for every member of the School Committee and every educator in our district when I say we are doing everything within our ability and power to prevent things like this from happening again. Fortunately, I have a very strong team of educators and parents behind me – men and women who are as firmly resolved as I am to instill the principles of morality in our young people and to keep the environment in our schools healthy and safe.
As just one example of how we as a school system are responding, an educational program on the safe and appropriate use of cell phones, email and social media is being held for all seventh and eighth graders. Attendance will be mandatory.
At times like this, we must keep in mind that these incidents are the exception in Everett, not the norm. I do not mean to cast aspersions on any particular student when I say that the large majority of students in the Everett public schools are good kids who want to do what is right, in school and out of school. The large majority of our students set out each morning to do what is expected of them by their parents and their teachers. Most aim for high achievements in academics, athletics and extracurricular endeavors. And, over time, most succeed in one field of endeavor or more.
Today, as always, we are striving to protect and expand the gains we have made in public education. We are striving, also, to improve the culture of learning, of respect, and of shared responsibility, which is evident in all of our schools. And we are striving to uphold the highest standards of personal conduct throughout our system.
Are we always successful? Have we eliminated every problem, difficulty and risk? Of course not. But our schools are thriving. Our system is the envy of many a community comparable to our own. We should never lose sight of the goodness in our children and in our schools, nor fail to appreciate the incredible number of good students and good teachers we have.
Proud, as always, to be associated with the Everett Public Schools, I ask humbly for your continued support. Thank you.
Frederick F. Foresteire,
Everett Public Schools