New Bedford High School Violence Must Be Addressed [OPINION]
Spokesman Arthur Motta said New Bedford School Superintendent Thomas Anderson is taking reports of violent fights at New Bedford High School "seriously." But at the same time, Motta seems to dismiss the incidents as simply "students who are having challenges assimilating back to the in-person school environment."
WBSM News reached out to Anderson after a parent reported that fights at the school are "a daily occurrence." The anonymous parent's child reportedly described the fights as "vicious and horrific."
In a statement, Motta said, "Staff are working to identify and provide supports to students who are having challenges acclimating back to the in-person school environment." He said steps are being taken to address the situation, noting "These include meeting with parents, counselors, and partnership with outside agencies to ensure that all students are making the best choices and understand the impact that their behavior has on others."
Who is buying this garbage?
Video recording violent confrontations is the all the rage among some young people. It makes great material for TikTok and other social media sites. It's a form of entertainment for those who troll the halls of schools, malls, and other places where people gather all across the country. To dismiss it as simply kids having a tough time getting back to in-person learning following the pandemic assumes that the majority of us are stupid and don't understand what is going on.
Other parents have reached out to WBSM to confirm conditions at New Bedford High. Some say they fear sending their children there and worry that their kids might become victims of the senseless violence, too.
The problem is not a new one. Out-of-control kids have been a problem in New Bedford's schools for years but local government officials act as though it's not happening. Some love to blame the media for spreading falsehoods.
Superintendent Anderson, Mayor Jon Mitchell, and Police Chief Paul Oliveira need to take immediate steps to confront the problem of violence at New Bedford High School, and that begins with admitting that there is a problem in the first place.
No child should have to be afraid of becoming a victim of violence or harassment while attending a public school in New Bedford. No child. Our kids have been through enough.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.