Mom: Auburn Student Leaves District After Getting Laughed At

  • Comments (18)
An Auburn student has transferred out of the school district after an alleged incident with a school official.
An Auburn student has transferred out of the school district after an alleged incident with a school official. Photo Credit: Auburn Public Schools

AUBURN, Mass. – An Auburn parent has transferred her son out of the school district because of alleged problems with an unnamed school official at Auburn Middle School.

Michelle Rodgers, mother of four in Auburn, said at last night’s School Committee meeting that she removed her son from the middle school after a school official laughed at her son, who was in an individualized education program, which is for students with learning disabilities.

“An instructional assistant was to follow him class-to-class, and there was an incident that occurred a couple times when that particular assistant called him ‘stubborn’ on numerous occasions,” Rodgers said. “I then sent him to school with a tape recorder on Nov. 19, which the school approved me doing. When I reviewed the tape, I was very disturbed from what I had found on there.

“There’s an official on the tape who laughed at my son, and I was very disturbed with that,” she continued. “With the issues my son was having, it was not OK that he was being laughed at.”

Rodgers said she went back to the school to receive an apology from that unnamed official, but she was told an apology would not be issued. As a result, she decided to go through school choice and transfer her son out of the school district.

“I would like an apology for laughing at my son. I’ve come to realize after speaking with several officials that it doesn’t appear that will happen,” she said. “We’ve lived here in Auburn for over six years, and I didn’t think that I would see this day come when I can’t have my kid attend school where I live.”

Superintendent of Schools Maryellen Brunelle said the school district “takes very seriously any concerns that are brought forward to us regarding disciplinary issues,” and she will look into the complaint and allegations.

Rodgers will discuss the matter further with the School Committee behind closed doors Dec. 19 during executive session.

“Anything of a sensitive nature, I’d rather discuss in executive session,” said School Committee Chair Jeffrey Lourie. “We’ve heard your side of the story. We’re going to let the superintendent do her research on it, and then come back to the School Committee and take this issue up.” 

  • 18

Comments (18)


Auburn resident:
@M. I went to Auburn schools. There were teachers there that assaulted student's every day. Wither it was squeezing your cheeks so hard her fingers would touch inside your mouth as she led you to the office,(Pakachoag school) or being poked in the chest, threatened and bullied by a 5' nothing (jr high). Or maybe someone calling children fat and other names then running for office. These people are Auburn heroes now I guess.

These are sad truths in Auburn

I find it completely amazing that some of the comments posted here are never actually here!!! So glad I get an email alert with all comments and what the comments say for my record. Thinking maybe I will copy and paste the comments sent to me by email here!!!

Here is a secrete. The more students in special needs classes, the more money Auburn gets from the state.

I have a friend who has 3 children. All 3 were in sped classes because Auburn deemed it so.
They moved to another town and her 3 children are thriving in normal classes now. Go figure eh?

I am sorry to hear these stories about your kids experiences with insensitive adults. I had to write because I have a very different experience with Dr. Brunelle and the principals and guidance counselors. I think they do a fantastic job of continually educating and raising awareness for students and adults to behave with tolerance and respect. Obviously, there is always room for improvement and I have noticed that they are constantly working on these issues. When my daughter was bullied and I reported it, they responded quickly and effectively supporting not only my child but the child who needed help in changing so she wouldn't continue with the bad behavior. No school system is perfect, but as a parent, I think we are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Brunelle as the leader of our schools. I have observed her passionate commitment, not only to academic excellence, but also to creating a positive environment for students and staff.

Thank you for all your support!!! I am hoping more parents come forward and not let the schools continue to allow things like this!!!!

I wish you well. Keep up the good fight.

Thank you, I want to keep fighting but after this school commitee meeting I was given an executive session (meeting behind closed doors with commitee members) and I was again shot down at every turn with every thing I tried to lay on the table. Their response we cannot allow you to speak of staff/students that are not present to defend themselves. They knew I was going to be there for the executive session so why werent all involved there as well. I asked this question and the response when I asked for another session with all present was "we need to dicuss that request with our attorney to see if its something we can do" I still havent heard back about it (and that orginal session was 12/19) despite me calling and speaking with the superintendant at least twice her response was still the same we need to discuss it with our attorney. I also asked where I go next if I am unhappy with the outcome of the executive session and the superintendants decision to stand by Mr. Gagnon stating "he handled everything just fine" I was told they didnt know where I should take my concerns next!!!

Do not let.them do this. Screw these people. My son was stabbed in the ear with a spoon.handle. the kid got one day suspension. I too got no where with maryellen. I think its time the state is called

I am this boys grrandfather and in the past 5 years have had to watch my grandson withdraw from the outside world, this angers me so much that I told my daughter to keep going over their heads until something gets done, if 1 does not want to listen then go higher, she and my wife went to this meeting the other night and my daughter was given 3 minutes to speak even though my wife spoke up & said this paperwork says she has 15 minutes. I feel that this meeting behind closed doors is so the town can cover up what is going on.My daughter did go to the superintendent and was unable to get anywhere with her, just a lot of back stepping for obvious reasons. I believe that they try to cover up and some day it will catch up to them. Do they need to have something happen to one of these children to do something?

Maybe Paul Frost could look into this situation for you?

That's so sad, and with all The new bullying rules in schools too.
Call Fox Mike will get to the bottom of it!
Tell him about all the drug addicts too, these kids are out of control popping pills, crushing them and snorting them . It need to stop these kids need Help.
This is what our young ones have to look forward to in the high school:(
Thing is the faculty is aware of it there needs to be consequences for there actions this is unacceptable !

We can only hope that the superintendent will thoroughly investigate this latest incident!!
Cindy- I cannot imagine a child enduring this treatment- it breaks my heart! Maybe you should reconsider contacting Fox news!!

Maryellen doesnt do a whole lot but talk alot and nothing gets rectified. I marched right into her office one day and chewed her out because the lack of response when people are being bullied at the schools. Time to go over their heads!!

I am still thinking about that one, also to hear my grandson say that if someone was going to hurt him anymore it might as well be himself just broke my heart. I do believe in Karma and told this parent that comment will come back to bite him good.

My Grandson has been bullied for 5 years now in the Auburn Public School system, many reports have been made by his parents with no results. When I went to the school & threatened to go to FOX news with this story the school official decided to speak with me. After 3 years they still had the same child that was doing the bullying sitting directly behind my grandson, this kid kept hitting, poking and name calling, with nothing done. I went to the home of this kids parents, attempted to solve this problem by us 2 adults sitting with the 2 boys after 5 years of this for a conversation - I was told by this parent "his son does not do anything wrong and our conversation was over". I told this parent that there were witnesses this time & he said well that did not matter cause there was no police officer present. I made sure I checked my grandson's story of no supervision at recess, I have witnessed children at these Auburn schools outside with no supervision. My grandson was not the only child being bullied by these same children, just wish more parents would come forward.

Call Maryellen, threaten to call the state and a lawyer. My son had issues last year with the Vice Principal, he is no longer allowed to be involved in any disciplinary action where my son is concerned. My son was STABBED in the ear with a plastic spoon, causing a laceration in his ear canal. Luckily, it didnt damage the ear drum or I would have been suing the town, the school, and Mrs Brunelle. I think us parents need to start banding together and raid the school committee meetings. The ONLY person who addressed this from the School Committee was TODD HAMMOND! He cared, and kept in touch with me. It is of great detriment to this town that the Hammonds are being shunned because they are GOOD people, parents and care about the town and the people in it- old and new!!!!

When a friend of mine was looking to buy a house he said that Auburn was out of the question because this town was to Poitical, the school system did not help children, just push them aside if they had any kind of problem.

Keep fighting Mom!!
My son was locked in a supply closet out in the hall in 4th grade as a punishment, who does that??
The teacher and the principal were both gone the following year!!!
The teacher stressed her out so bad she had pnemonia 4 times that school year..:(