Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Lombardi made the right call to keep students safe

To the editor:

I am very concerned about the potential consequences of the investigation surrounding the “pledge signing” at Northampton High School. Tragic events over the past few years have presented our school administrators with potential threats that few could have imagined and I would guess none were trained for. The repeated outcry after each tragedy was that nothing was done to prevent it and warning signs were ignored. I have no idea whether the “pledge signing” was proper, legal or useful, but I feel fairly confident that no one was hurt by it. When I read in the paper that ACLU lawyers are getting involved and that the school superintendent is publicly blaming Bryan Lombardi, the assistant principal who allegedly authorized the pledge, one can understand why school officials at any school may be afraid to act proactively.

We have had two boys go through the high school and have one there now. All three had nothing but the highest regard and praise for Bryan Lombardi. He has managed to walk that very difficult line between respected authority and good friend to the students. There are few individuals who I have seen navigate this role so effectively. We have had numerous meetings with Lombardi about our boys over the years and at each meeting we are impressed at his insightfulness, diligence and perspective about the issue we were discussing.

If the consequence of this seemingly trivial issue results in the diminution of his role at Northampton High School, that would be a tragedy for the kids of Northampton and a sad commentary on our hopes of preventing potential school tragedies in the future. Lombardi deserves our praise for years of hard work and the courage to make a difficult decision in a crisis situation.

Barry and Eileen Hirsch

Northampton

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