Massachusetts school officials ask for governor to send the National Guard to help with unruly high school

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BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) — Officials have asked Gov. Maura Healey to send in the Massachusetts National Guard to stop violence and address security concerns at a troubled high school in a city south of Boston, some school committee members said Monday.

Four of the seven members of the Brockton School Committee backed the National Guard request amid teacher shortages and budget deficits, but city officials weren’t unanimous in their support.

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The governor’s office acknowledged the concerns about Brockton High School, where teachers reported fighting and drug use in the hallways, and verbal abuse of staff. “Our administration is committed to ensuring that schools are safe and supportive environments for students, educators, and staff,” Healey’s office said.

Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan, who serves as chair of the school committee, said he forwarded the request to the governor on Friday, even though he opposed it. “National Guard soldiers are not the answer,” he said.

School committee members who backed the request held a news conference Monday to press their case for help. They said National Guard personnel could be used as hall monitors or even substitute teachers.

“We’re not asking them to deploy a whole army to our school. We’re asking for support,” committee member Ana Oliver said.

“If you support safety in our schools, you will support the National Guard to come in here and keep our schools safe,” said Tony Rodrigues, another committee member.

Students are not in class this week. The police chief will provide an update on efforts to address the problems after the winter break concludes, the mayor said.

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