Bangor School District lays out emergency response plans to recent announcement, community reacts

Published: Dec. 11, 2019 at 11:55 PM EST
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Close to a full house at Wednesday night's Bangor School Committee meeting.

This was the first meeting since the district received some backlash about how Bangor High School students were told about another student's suicide.

Bangor High School Principal, Paul Butler, walked through every decision the school made during the day of the tragic announcement which came over the loudspeaker.

Butler says he believes this decision was the best decision made given all the circumstances.

Others at the meeting criticized the school district saying the way they handled the situation was highly inappropriate and that emergency protocol should be made public.

Claire, Bangor High School parent, said, "I would like to address what I perceive to be a very concerning failure of leadership and policymaking in the school system. This failure places an unfair burden on school administrators and educators to deal with predictable crises without adequate guidance or training."

Superintendent Betsy Webb, said, "In situations like this, the school department relies on the administration and the teachers who know the students and the school best. They are the front line. I trust them. They are best able to meet the needs and the situation."

Paul Butler, Principal of Bangor High School, said, "The decision to do the intercom call - there's no question at that point with time as a factor, with knowledge that students were starting to know, with awareness that they were in a routine in the morning with the people who know them best, that I could do an excellent job of putting together a statement driven by the protocol that would deliver the message.

"The school has 1200. And our ratio's to how many of the above-stated faculty? They were expected to take care of all of these students' teachers and faculty? That is a huge failure on leadership's part. And again, I don't hold Mr. Butler accountable for this failure whatsoever," Marcella, a Bangor High School parent added.

Superintendent Betsy Webb says they have resources available in situations like these including guidance counselors, mental health counselors, and social workers.

She says their emergency plan is comprehensive and has been in place since 2000.

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