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Boston School Committee Votes To Shut Down Mission Hill School After Sexual Misconduct Investigation

BOSTON (CBS) – Boston school officials have voted to permanently close the Mission Hill K-8 School in Jamaica Plain following an investigation into sexual misconduct.

At a school committee meeting Thursday night, Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said this was the best option given the culture of bullying and rampant sexual abuse among students that went largely unreported for years.

"The investigators found that students are still at an increased risk of bullying as a result of the pervasive school culture that has been built and allowed to continue for more than a decade," Cassellius said.

School officials say the reports span from kindergarten to sixth grade. Despite intervention from the district and more training, nothing changed.

Cassellius said Mission Hill leaders hid behind the freedom that came with their pilot program status.

Despite the school culture, some parents fought to keep the doors open.

"I believe the superintendent decided to close the school long ago and spent this year curating evidence to justify that decision to you," Mission Hill parent Allison Cox said at the meeting. "I have multiple times asked why the positive assessments and demonstrable cultural and academic achievements in recent years have been ignored."

The school will be closed at the end of this academic year. There are currently 200 students assigned to the school. BPS has put a team in place who will work with each family to ensure a smooth transition to a new school.

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