School Committee Meeting Erupts in Debate
By Shannon Hegy
SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WGGB) — A South Hadley School Committee meeting erupted in debate Wednesday night.
It was the first school committee meeting since the indictment of six teens in the Phoebe Prince case, and the charges started flying as soon as the meeting opened for public comment.
As some of the most outspoken parents and residents in South Hadley took the microphone, it was clear that the meeting was not going to go smoothly.
Police escorted parents like Luke Gelinas out of the doors of the South Hadley High School library.
Each speaker was given only three minutes to address the committee. Darby O’Brien, another outspoken parent, spent the majority of his speaking time defending himself, and continuing his feud with committee chair, Edward Boisselle.
Wednesday night’s crowd was a mix. Some were looking for the resignation of School Superintendent Gus Sayer and South Hadley High School Principal Dan Smith. Others were there to defend Smith. Many parents even lashed out at the media and the negative attention the town has received.
Some 16 parents and concerned South Hadley residents spoke before Sayer finally addressed the crowd, defending the faculty and staff of South Hadley high school and detailing their actions on Jan. 7 and 14, which were the days Prince was allegedly bullied intensely.