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.”