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Mayor Reviewing Allegation School Chief Was Unprofessional

Some MHS students claim Superintendent Anthony Pope acted unprofessionally during a January sit-in.

Mayor Arthur Vigeant is looking into allegations from students that Superintendent Anthony Pope behaved unprofessionally and attempted to intimidate students who were protesting the sudden departure of a popular assistant principal. 

"I am in the process of reviewing the incident from Jan. 27, 2012 at Marlborough High School," Vigeant said during Tuesday's School Committee meeting, reading a statement he said was drafted after consulting the committee's legal counsel. 

Vigeant's disclosure comes two months after two students voiced complaints to the School Committee about the way Pope acted during a sit-in at MHS protesting the of longtime assistant principal Adam Bakr.

Bakr last worked at the school in December. The district has not said why he left or whether he'll return, citing personnel privacy concerns. In the months since, hundreds of students have signed online petitions, joined Facebook groups and staged sit-ins at the schools to ask for answers and plead for his return. 

"When the review is complete, I will discuss it with the School Committee and Dr. Pope and will make any information available that is legally available," Vigeant said. 

Teachers and students alike were a strong visible presence at Tuesday's meeting: More than a dozen teachers wore bright orange T-shirts that read "Got Respect," while an equal number of students handed out hand-drawn placards with messages such as "Bring Bakr Back," and "Bakr is MHS." 

They were largely a silent presence, however, with no one in the audience asking to be recognized during the public comment period. Vigeant's statement was met with a brief burst of applause.  

In other business Tuesday night, the committee introduced incoming Marlborough High School Principal Craig Hardimon, currently principal of the R.J. Grey Junior High School in the Acton-Boxborough district. Hardimon said he would spend a good deal of his first 100 days on the job listening to students, faculty, teachers and members of the community before starting to decide on any changes. 

The board also voted to accept a $10,000 state grant that will enable the planning of a K-5 Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) school.  Pope said an 11-member committee plans to spend the upcoming school year planning the new school, with hopes to open the school in time for the 2013-2014 school year. 

By adding an elementary component to the existing and popular offerings, the new school would give Marlborough students the option of pursuing a STEM curriculum from kindergarten through graduation, Pope noted. 

Dish March 28, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Adam Bakr is one of the kindest, most intelligent and most sincere individuals I have had the pleasure of knowing. His integrity is flawless. MHS and the system are better places because of him.
c17a3 March 29, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Ok...why was he sent home, anyone?
Jay Emmett March 30, 2012 at 12:01 AM
This is why ... http://msjnews.com/committee-members-back-superintendent-p3464-91.htm
Iamjustsaying April 12, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Perhaps, Mr. Bakr, should ask the kids not to intervene on his behalf and go to class, as by staging a sit-it is not going to help them get and education. I would venture to say, it sounds like these student do not respect adults or authority. Now a day children can say or do anything including to their parents and no one address the bad behavior. These student are going be rudely awakened when they get out in the real world and meet people who will not tolerate them running up in their face demanding answers that do not concern them. They are school to get and education, not challenge the teachers or superintendent. They should be challenging the school on how to get the best education to prepare them to complete in the world and to get into college of their choice. Challenge the quality of the text books, math, science and foreign language programs. Parents alike this should be your concern as well, will my children be able to get into college should he or she choose to go. How can we make our school district be a step ahead of other communities so that we can attack businesses and families. It appear to me that although it is important to be heard, make sure you are being heard on the right stuff. At the end of the day Adam is still getting paid and he will have is day in court. The students still have to be educated and this does not a appear to be happening. One last question to ask yourself, is our school district better or worst since we elected Dr Pope?
MhsStudent April 17, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Get over yourself, you live in a bubble where we aren't allowed to question authority. Authority is meant to be questioned when those in power are not doing their job. Pope is not doing his job. Is that what you want to teach your children? If those in authority are disrespectful, intimidating and bully you, you sit still , shut your mouth and pretend like nothing happened? If that is how you live your life might as well move to China, where freedom of speech isn't tolerated.
Donna May 06, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Please read your post. Correct your mistakes and then comment on education. Education starts at home. I would agree most of our children today do not respect their parents or people of authority, however, one of the most important things we try to teach our children is to not become complacent. These students are taking a stand for what they believe. This shows as a community and school district they are being taught how to think for themselves and not tolerate what injustices are occuring around them. As long as the facts are correct they have every right to take a stand. Done correctly, as I believe they are being guided to do, there is no reason for their issues to be ignored.

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