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Pope Apologizes for 'Many Misunderstandings'

The superintendent made his first public comments on the events of Jan. 27, 2012 at Marlborough High School.

 

In his first public comments about an incident that has sparked , Superintendent Anthony Pope apologized Tuesday night for “many misunderstandings” and said he took full responsibility for his actions.

“As a leader of this district, I own all that happened," Pope said. “I am sincerely sorry for the many misunderstandings on that day and the negative impact is has brought to our student body.”

“I feel badly that my actions were interpreted in a way that I did not intend," he said."As the educational leader of this city, I always take full responsibility for what happens in the district. “

Pope's actions on Jan. 27, 2012 at have created a swirl of controversy. Students said Pope behaved unprofessionally, attempting to scare them into dropping their protests of his suspension of popular assistant principal Adam Baker. And Guidance counselor Joanne Hanson claimed she was pushed by Pope, claims that a . 

After Pope spoke Tuesday night, several teachers, former students and others called directly on the School Committee to fire Pope, or for Pope to resign. Among those who spoke was Hanson, who said she was still waiting for a personal apology from Pope.  

"He didn't apologize for his actions, he apologized for misunderstandings," she said. "But it wasn't a misunderstanding when I was shoved from behind and told to get back to class."

Others were quick to support Hanson and Bakr and to call on the committee to take action. 

Recent MHS graduate Cairo Mendes said the school he recently left is in such turmoil that he worreies about the education younger siblings and friends will get. "The problem is not the students, it's not the teachers--it's the superintendent," he said. 

Former MHS Assistant Principal Paul Kamataris said the district risks losing good teachers and students if a change isn't made. "We cannot recover from this," he said. "It's time to make a move."

Earlier in the meeting, Pope told the committee that an extended deadline for filing an accreditation report had been met.

However, some board members blasted the last-minute nature of the process, and said that it was only because of a furious 48 hours of work by some staff members that the paperwork was able to be filed. 

"There was a breakdown of leadership," said Katherine Hennessey, adding that she was "dumbfounded" by how the process was handled. 

Joescarp June 13, 2012 at 11:59 AM
If I hear one more person say "I take full responsibility" without any consequences, I'll scream! Based on that remark alone, I'd fire his butt in a nanosecond.
Me June 13, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Ok that sign about making it a parade is awesome!! Nice job!
mike June 13, 2012 at 04:28 PM
If he is appologizing...trust me, he is looking for another job and he will leave MPS high and dry.....
RuthH June 13, 2012 at 07:15 PM
When he leaves, MPS WILL be high and dry - out of the flood of criticisms, press articles and negative publicity because of one bully - Pope. Let us hope he does this of his own accord (doubtful) or because the school commitee recognizes what he is.
Neil Licht June 13, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Remember, Marlborough, we taxpayers are Dr. Popes boss. Apologies do not undo a nonconfidence vote. They do not undo bungling the very critical ,manageing of our accredation process without which colleges wont look favorably on our grads re admission nor employers look favorably on a Marlborough HS diploma. We need to write and deluge the school committee re fire this person NOW. Its in our hands, not the committee's hands because we pay his salary, we send our kids to his schools, we sell and buy homes in this city where school reputation means sale or no sale. email now and demmand a firing for incompetence, Write now and do the same. Call the papers and ask to be heard, write an editorial but don't let this albatross bring our schools and our city's reputation to a screaming hault. Take action NOW. Its in our hands citizens and its why we live in a democracy. Lets exercize our right of majority rule and taxpayer control over the way our money gets spent. Its opur right to get the best so lets make that happen- Ask, demmand via any way possible that Dr. Pope be removed immediately. Our futures, and our kids futures depend on us doing that. Neil licht

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