Category Archives: Carol’s Corner

Superintendent Announces Retirement

Superintendent Jacobs to Retire 

Superintendent of Schools Carol Jacobs has announced her plans to retire as the Georgetown Public Schools Superintendent of Schools, a post she has held since July 1, 2007, effective on June 30, 2023. 

“ It is with very mixed emotions that I make this decision. It is hard to leave a job you love and the wonderful  people that I have had the chance to know and work with during my tenure here.  I am so grateful for the support I have received from the School Committee ( past and present  and the town as a whole. I have had the pleasure to work with so many wonderful people over the years both in town and in the schools and I will miss those connections very much. I can not say enough about my wonderful colleagues and the amazing work they do every day no matter what role they play. They inspire me and I will miss our collaboration and watching them work their magic every day on behalf of this town and our children. And finally, I will miss working with students, something I have done happily since 1979 when I began my career as a paraprofessional. It has been my privilege and joy to see so many children grow, learn and become wonderful young people. They keep me young and, on a daily basis, remind me why this work we do is so important! They are our future and being a part of their journey fills me with passion, pride and joy”

The School Committee will begin a search for Jacob’s replacement beginning this fall and more details will be forthcoming on the search process.

 

Statement from Georgetown Public Schools related to the Football Investigation

At long last, we received a copy of the final investigation report on Thursday June 30, 2022 from the firm of Foley Hoag, LLC, which conducted the joint investigation commissioned by the Georgetown Public Schools and Roxbury Preparatory Charter School. The purpose was to conduct an independent and unbiased investigation into the events of September 17, 2021, specifically regarding the inflammatory allegations that were made through social media by the coaches from Roxbury Prep and the alleged use of racially charged language by players, teachers, administrators and spectators from Georgetown.

First, I want to say clearly that as the Superintendent of Schools, I am saddened and embarrassed after reading this report about the behavior of two members of the football team and two members of the student body and our head coach  It is truly unfortunate that the Roxbury Prep coaches, players, and fans felt insulted and disrespected because of the actions of these students.  The use of any, and particularly racial, slurs is reprehensible and has no place in our schools or our athletic fields.  I would like to apologize on behalf of our community to the Roxbury Prep Community for the actions of these students.  While there were findings of contributing factors that increased the hostility from their coaches, no team should be subjected to taunting, racially charged language or any conditions that cause them to feel unsafe or unwelcome while on our campus. That is not what we expect or stand for in Georgetown and we will do anything within our power to ensure that this will not happen again. 

We accept responsibility for the findings included in the report regarding the logistics that contributed to the coaches and players from Roxbury Prep not feeling welcome and supported  although we wish the coach and the officials had brought this to our attention as soon as issues arose. While the game setup was the same for this game as it has been for countless previous contests, we recognize that some of the tension may have resulted from the layout of the football facility. We have already made adjustments, specifically moving the visiting team’s bench away from spectators, ensuring that there is sufficient staff located throughout the facility to monitor the crowds, and strengthening our internal communication protocols, especially with the visiting team regarding complaints. We acknowledge Roxbury Prep’s perception that they did not feel welcome and reiterate that there was no intention on our part to cause anything but welcome on our campus. 

The names of the students identified in the report and any necessary discipline or sanction will remain confidential as they are minors. We believe in holding our students accountable while providing for restorative justice. Young people make mistakes and will learn from them if given the opportunity to do so.  Our district has been actively working on diversity, equity and inclusion for the past year and training for everyone in our school community is part of the plan for the upcoming year.  With the findings of the report now available, we will review the actions of the coaches and administration and will respond appropriately..

I have been asked countless times why I considered a joint investigation to be the best course of action.  I was the person who commited to this step because I wanted to ensure that we could have the full cooperation of both schools, that the actions of both teams would be examined, and that we would share the cost to have skin in the game. I also knew that the investigation being led by the Georgetown Police Department was primarily focused on allegations against police officers and the conduct of the Roxbury Prep coaches.  The report found that both schools contributed in some way to the unfortunate events of that evening and the evidence confirmed that racial language was used by a few of our students. We have to own that.  While we may not agree with some of the interpretations made by the investigators, we will accept the report and make positive changes. I knew that by sticking up for Georgetown and having this episode reviewed by an independent third party, we would better understand exactly what happened that evening.  The actions of a few individuals do not reflect our community.

I am pleased to learn that Roxbury Prep apologized for the actions of their coaches and hope that they will agree to apologize to the affected students. As the investigator agreed, there is no excuse for an adult putting their hands on a child , especially out of anger and frustration – it never deescalates a problem and it didn’t on September 17th.  

As time has passed, there has been an opportunity for reflection for both schools. Now that the investigation is completed, we can begin the healing process and move forward. Indeed, healing is needed in both communities. While I  do not want to diminish the hurt that was expressed by the Roxbury community as outlined in the report, I think it is important to acknowledge the hurt and damage that the community of Georgetown has experienced as a result of  false and sensational accusations of racist behavior by Georgetown faculty, staff, and the Georgetown Police. These inflammatory allegations were covered by the national media, and while almost all of these accusations were refuted in the investigator’s report, they served to subject our community to unwarranted scorn that was not deserved and that we will always have to bear.   The coaches told the investigators that they were angry, frustrated and felt violated. That is not how we want guests at our schools or fields to feel. We accept this and acknowledge the fact they felt that way, but know the situation could have been handled better by the schools working together to resolve the situation, rather than posting fabricated accusations on social media.  Clearly there were bad choices and decisions made on the part of a few students and coaches on both teams.  I hope the coaches who put their hands on students commit to speaking to our players and sincerely apologize. I also hope the Roxbury coaches will apologize for exaggerating the facts and labeling the entire community of Georgetown for the actions of a few.  I want to apologize to the community of Georgetown for the time and expense of this process yet I feel it was the only way to objectively refute the allegations that were made and to find out what really happened. I believe this report does just that.  While we owe Roxbury an apology for the actions of a small number of students and for the negative perception of Georgetown, I am happy that the report openly refutes that the entire team, faculty, coaches, spectators (except 2), police officers and administrators engaged in racial slurs and other outrageous actions. Georgetown is a wonderful community and we have a lot to be proud about but the events of September 17, 2021 will serve as a reminder that treating people with respect and appreciation are values on which our community is built. 

I want to thank Roxbury Prep for agreeing to conduct a joint investigation and I look forward to speaking directly to them regarding coming to closure now that the report is completed.  I look forward to working with them on a positive path forward.

I also want to recognize the investigators at Foley Hoag. While the scope was broad and the cost was substantial, the situation was taken seriously and the final report better explains the incident that evening. 

Click here to review the final Foley Hoag report.

Reminder: Advertising on the Turf Field

Do you have a local business or work for a company that would like to purchase an advertising banner that will hang on the fences around the turf field? If interested, please contact Michael Anderson at andersonm@georgetown. K12.ma.us for more information.

Historical Artifacts on Display in Perley

Thanks  to a generous donation and  the vision of Jim Boynton Jr, there is a new display case filled with memorabilia  from the Perley High School.  Jim approached me several months ago about creating a space in Perley to display sports trophies and pictures  some of which  were  recovered from the basement of

Perley trpohy case

the Middle High School and others came from a collection kept by his father, former Georgetown High School Principal James Boynton who served this town proudly as an educator for many many years.  Whenever I  hear anyone speak about this beloved Principal ,  they  have a story about him that they will never forget. When he passed away at the young age of 103, he left a legacy that was far-reaching and so impactful that his name will always be synonymous as someone who led by example and lived a principled and ethical life.

His son Jim wanted to ensure that these cherished momentous could be displayed in a fitting and more permanent way so he donated the funds for this beautiful display case, personally cleaned the trophies and artistically arranged the artifacts in the case . It was a labor of love and, through his vision, the town has a lasting way to preserve and protect these treasured memories.

I have been told that years ago many trophies were auctioned off and local Georgetown residents may have them in their homes. I believe that Jim told me that there are 10 trophies unaccounted for in this collection at Perley. If any residents have any Perley High School trophies that they would like included in this town-wide collection, please let Jim Boynton know or bring it by Perley and we will be sure that it gets added to the case.

I am so happy that the historic Perley School is becoming a true community center and an asset to the town by housing the Athletic  Hall of Fame , the Georgetown Senior Center and the Perley Preschool  and now this wonderful display that recognizes the accomplishments  of athletes who proudly  represented  Perley High School in the past. Thanks to Jim Boynton Jr for his vision, generosity and tenacity in getting this project done and to Mike Anderson, Director  of Buildings and Grounds who worked closely with Jim to bring this project to fruition. It is a true town treasure! Check out the picture and  please come by the school to see it in person.