Easthampton School Committee, superintendent to address high school walkout

By CAITLIN ASHWORTH

@kate_ashworth

Published: 04-05-2017 1:52 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The School Committee plans to discuss last Thursday’s Easthampton High School walkout, when hundreds of students marched in the streets against hate and voiced concerns about how school administrators handle racism.

The walkout was preceded by a physical assault in the school’s parking lot a day earlier, according to police, who later arrested three students in connection with the incident.

The committee will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the first-floor conference room of the Municipal Building at 50 Payson Ave.

School Superintendent Nancy Follansbee said she plans to go over the facts about the school’s situation and have a discussion with School Committee members. The committee’s agenda also includes time for public comment.

On March 30, students left the school building at 9:15 a.m. and walked to the Municipal Building where Mayor Karen Cadieux and Follansbee spoke with student leaders.

The march was peaceful, and a schoolwide forum was held later that day with Follansbee, Cadieux and Police Chief Robert Alberti.

The physical assault took place in the school’s parking lot after a student used a racial slur on social media and a screenshot of the conversation was shared online, according to police. Three students, including Joshua Brown, 18, were later arrested on charges of assault and battery for punching the student who allegedly used the racial slur. The two others arrested were juveniles.

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at cashworth@gazettenet.com.

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