School Officials Asked Massachusetts To Send National Guard To Address ‘Urgent’ Concerns. Gov. Healey Says No

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Alexander Pease Contributor
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Officials at an embattled school district in Massachusetts reportedly asked Democratic Governor Maura Healey to send in the National Guard to help with discipline last week, but Healey refused.

Four members of the Brockton School Committee asked the governor to send the National Guard to deal with issues such as repeated student and teacher absences, violence and drug use on school grounds and students verbally abusing staff, MassLive reported. Healey refused their request, claiming that sending the National Guard would not be “appropriate,” according to the outlet.

“I don’t think the National Guard is appropriate,” Healey told reporters Monday, according to the outlet. “I do understand though the concerns raised by the school committee and others in the community.”

Healey’s administration said it would respond to the requests by issuing a grant to pay for an audit of the school’s “safety condition” to assess the next best steps, according to the outlet. Massachusetts Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler is also poised to work more closely with the district to resolve the safety issues, MassLive reported. (RELATED: Boston Globe Asks Readers If They Agree With Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey’s Decision To House Migrants. Most Say No: REPORT)

“As governor, I want to make sure that every student and educator in the state, including Brockton, is safe and is able to go to school and learn in a safe environment,” Healey told the press, according to the outlet.

Back on Feb. 16, a majority of the school committee members in the city reportedly penned a letter to their committee chair and Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan asking for military aid, and the mayor forwarded the request to Healey. Due to the array of issues facing the schools over the past few months, even educators are cutting class at the school, the outlet reported.

“The situation has reached a critical point, more recently we had an alarming 35 teachers absent,” the letter read, according to MassLive.

On top of the problems of substance abuse, violence and attendance issues, there have also reportedly been instances of trespassers being found on campus grounds as well. (RELATED: Homeless Drug Addicts Have Invaded High School Bathrooms, Left Used Needles, Students Say)

“The National Guard’s expertise in crisis management and community support can offer a vital temporary intervention, allowing for a comprehensive, long-term solution to be developed in consultation with all relevant stakeholders,” the committee members wrote, according to the outlet.

Brockton Police Chief Brenda Perez is also against the committee member’s National Guard idea, MassLive continued.

Other officials in the Brockton community voiced their opposition, including Mayor Sullivan, several city councilors and the fellow committee members of the authors of the letter, according to a separate MassLive report.