While acknowledging there is still a long way to go in the matter of sexual harassment claims against former Supt. Fred Foresteire, on Monday night several of the hundreds assembled at the School Committee meeting said they felt like their voices were heard.
Some 200 people packed into the room on Monday, most of them demanding that Foresteire be put on leave, and by the end of the night, they said they felt like the Committee listened to them.
“They met our demands,” said Iliana Panameno of La Communidad and the Everett Educational Coalition (EEC). “We’re going to just keep moving forward. It’s important there is a focus on the young people and keeping them safe.”
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he believes it was the right decision.
“I believe the School Committee took the appropriate action tonight by voting to place the superintendent on administrative leave pending a thorough investigation of these allegations,” he said in a prepared statement.
The Everett Teacher’s Association put out a statement last Friday, Dec. 14, calling for Foresteire to be put on leave so that he could defend himself against the allegations.
Gerly Adrien, who has been organizing residents as part of the EEC, said it shows when the community comes together, authorities will listen.
“I’m glad they put him on leave and listened to the community,” she said. “I’m also glad they are doing an investigation and are putting money towards it. I don’t know if that has ever been done in Everett, but it did show that when the community comes together, they do listen to us.”
City taking action against Veterans Agent for comments at School Committee
City officials confirmed that they will be taking action against Veteran Affairs Director Jeanne Cristiano for verbally accosting advocate Gerly Adrien after the School Committee meeting Monday night.
After the vote had taken place and during a recess in the meeting, Adrien was gathering her things to leave when Cristiano approached her. Soon, the two began arguing loudly in front of several reporters and television cameras.
“I care about the children of Everett, that’s why I’m doing this,” Adrien said resolutely.
“You are evil,” Cristiano said several times, among other things.
“How dare you come up to me and say that,” replied Adrien. “That’s so disrespectful. I care about this city.”
Several City officials witnessed the exchange and it was widely reported on television as well. The City is still considering what actions it will take, said City officials.