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Mission Hill School’s closure is result of adults failing children

The Boston School Committee voted Thursday to close the Mission Hill K-8 School at the end of June, following a scathing report of an investigation into years of institutional failures there.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Thursday night’s Boston School Committee vote to close Mission Hill K-8 School was overdue (“Mission Hill School to close,” Metro, May 6). While the disruption of a closure this late in a school year is real, that decision is not the failing here; the school’s closure, at the end of June, is the result of adults failing to care for children.

As an investigation released last week revealed (“9 takeaways from probe of Mission Hill School,” Metro, April 29), children were sexually abused, assaulted, bullied, or withheld the special education services they deserved under the law. We must not look away from the abuse. The report is clear. It is even clearer that children and families were failed not just by many staff members and the board but by the Boston Public Schools itself.


How did abuse and dysfunction of this scale go on unnoticed or unaddressed by the central office of BPS? Either the system didn’t do its job managing its schools, or it chose to look the other way. Neither is excusable.

I thank Superintendent Brenda Cassellius for bringing this tragedy out into the light and putting the closure of Mission Hill to a vote. The School Committee and city must do their job by following the facts, as uncomfortable as they are. The system failed both children and educators. There is an opportunity now to put policies and procedures in place to ensure that nothing like this happens again.

The city — and its children and families — are watching and waiting.

Will Austin


Boston Schools Fund