Staff Members on Administrative Leave, Leadership Changes, & Review of Student Restraint Protocols at Glover School
Several unexpected events roiled Marblehead's Glover School community throughout the course of the day on Wednesday, December 6, 2023.
Glover School families received an email from Interim Superintendent of Schools Theresa McGuinness noting that Glover School Principal Hope Doran is out on medical leave. "We wish her all the best," McGuinness wrote, "and hope that she will soon be able to return to her duties at Glover Elementary School." In the meantime, Matthew J. Fox, principal of Marblehead Veteran's Middle School, will serve as acting principal at Glover, and Assistant Superintendent Julia Ferreira—who formerly served as assistant principal at Vets—will return there to serve temporarily as acting principal. "We are very grateful for their dedication and willingness to assist the district whenever and wherever needed," wrote McGuinness, who noted that the length of Doran's leave "is undefined at this time."
A similar email was sent to Veterans Middle School families explaining the temporary change in leadership, as well as to Glover and Veterans Middle School faculty and staff.
Earlier in the day, McGuinness sent a letter to the Glover School community providing information about a medical emergency that had taken place at the school, with emergency services called to provide support. "This was an isolated incident involving one student," McGuinness wrote. "Student confidentiality prevents me from disclosing any further information. I want to assure you that the safety and well-being of our students and staff members is our top priority."
Finally, toward the end of the day, the Marblehead public schools issued a press release stating that "the Marblehead Public Schools has begun a review of its policies and protocols as they relate to the student restraint process." The release goes on to explain that "recent incidents involving the restraint of a general education student at the Glover Elementary School have prompted the district to review when student restraints should be used, the procedures used during this process, and how restraints are reported at both the district and state level."
According to the press release, the school district has secured the services of an attorney who specializes in education policy and will assist with the review process. At this time, the release notes, "four staff members at Glover are on temporary paid administrative leave. This is not a punitive action, but it is necessary during this process."
Marblehead Beacon received several reports over the course of the day that Glover School teachers were wearing black as a sign of protest and support for their fellow staff members who had been placed on leave. It is unclear at this time whether the student who was restrained continues to remain an active student at Glover. The relationship, if there is one, between Principal Doran's medical leave and the other unfolding events throughout the day has also not yet been confirmed.
While acknowledging that members of the community and parents are likely to have questions, the school district press release notes that "this is a very sensitive matter," asks for "patience," and states that "the district will be transparent and forthcoming, insofar as the law allows."
This is a developing story. Marblehead Beacon will provide updates as more information becomes available.
Editor’s note: School Committee member Jenn Schaeffner is a Marblehead Beacon founder and editor. She is recusing herself from Marblehead Beacon’s coverage of the School Committee and anything pertaining to Marblehead Public Schools.