Report: Peabody High 5th in state when it comes to violent crimes that get reported

27 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

No matter how you look at it, this isn’t good for Peabody High. Recently, Channel 4’s I-Team reported that our high school was the fifth worst in the state when it came to violent crimes committed by and against students.

Now, it might come with a caveat: It could turn out that the administration at Peabody High is more diligent than other schools when it comes to filing police reports. But still, being fifth out of 138 schools is not a good place to be. The school committee, if it hasn’t already, needs to take this report seriously, and work with the Peabody Police Department to ensure that the environment at the high school is safe for all students. The I-Team report rated Peabody fifth based on physical attacks, sexual assaults, and drugs and alcohol.

“I simply think what it does is mis-characterize what the school is,” Peabody High Principal Ed Sapienza told the I-Team. “When you look at the incidents, because we do report them, and we’re conscientious about maintaining discipline in school and things do get recorded, I think that just simply adds to the list.”

But it also doesn’t excuse the fact that there is a problem here. Hats off to Principal Sapienza and his staff, but more definitely needs to be done here. Nothing should be more important than the safety of Peabody’s students.

Let me know what you think after looking at the I-Team report.

Also, thanks to a loyal reader for tipping off EOP on this story. If you have a story you feel should be reported here, you can use the Send Us A Hot Tip link.

5 Responses to “Report: Peabody High 5th in state when it comes to violent crimes that get reported”

  1. West Peabody Girl November 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    I really find this hard to believe. My oldest child went to the high school and did very well. I never felt that she wasn’t safe there. I opted not to send my youngest to the high school. My reasons were strictly academic. I was frustrated with the school’s MCAS scores, SAT scores and graduation rate, all lagging behind state and (in the case of SAT’s) national averages. I also found when going through the college process with my oldest that the school’s curriculum was considered not very strenuous by many colleges. I never felt though that the school was unsafe! This news upsets me.

  2. Bob Croce November 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    Thanks for the comment. WPG.

    I have to say that this report surprised me too. I don’t think that Peabody High is unsafe, but when these stories appear, it’s always good to respond and do something to correct the problem,. If just one kid is assaulted, it’s one too many. I think Principal Sapienza and his team are doing a really good job addressing it, but maybe they need some more help here. I don’t know. Let’s see how the school committee and the superintendent respond.

  3. Anonymous November 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    How many bad stories do we need before we realize that our school system is in crisis?

    I’m tired of hearing the excuses like “we report crime better than other schools” or “we have lots of ESL students that other schools don’t have” or even the faux optimism that comes out of our School Committee. Let’s call the situation what is it, A CRISIS, and let’s focus on improving it.

    As an old coach around here once said, “we are who we are”. And right now, we’re a Level 3 school system….happy holidays and enjoy your declining property values.

  4. A Parent November 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Hey Bob. If someone on the school committee would like to write a guest blog post here to explain what is being done about this issue would you let them do that?

  5. Bob Croce November 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    They are absolutely welcome to respond that way. I’ll give any of our elected leaders space here. They just need to reach out. In fact, considering how many visitors we’re now getting here, it’s probably smart for them to reach out and respond using this forum.

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