Boston’s new mayor upholds BAN on cops from schools a day after school principal knocked unconscious


The newly-elected mayor of Boston has vowed to press ahead with her plan to remove police from schools – speaking the day after a 61-year-old headteacher was knocked unconscious by a 16-year-old female student.

Michelle Wu, who on Tuesday night became the first woman and first person of color elected as mayor of the city, campaigned on a progressive platform.

On Wednesday afternoon an unnamed teenage girl was arrested after Patricia Lampron – the principal of Dr. William W. Henderson Upper Campus school – was taken to the hospital to treat a head injury and broken ribs.

Lampron had reportedly asked the girl, at the end of the school day, to leave the grounds and the girl punched her, knocking her out cold for four minutes.

Wu, 36, was asked on Thursday if the attack had made her reconsider her policing policy in schools.

‘No,’ she replied.

Michelle Wu, the newly-elected mayor of Boston, campaigned on the promise of keeping police out of Boston's schools. She said that Wednesday's attack on Principal Patricia Lampron had not changed that

Michelle Wu, the newly-elected mayor of Boston, campaigned on the promise of keeping police out of Boston’s schools. She said that Wednesday’s attack on Principal Patricia Lampron had not changed that

Patricia Lampron - the principal of Henderson Upper Campus school - was knocked unconscious in an attack at the school on Wednesday. A 16-year-old student has been arrested and charged with assault and battery

Patricia Lampron – the principal of Henderson Upper Campus school – was knocked unconscious in an attack at the school on Wednesday. A 16-year-old student has been arrested and charged with assault and battery

She called the attack on Lampron ‘an incredibly horrific, tragic situation.’ 

But she insisted that having police officers in schools was not the answer.

‘All throughout the system we need – particularly in this moment coming out of the pandemic when there’s been such stress, anxiety, trauma on our families – to be putting more resources into social and emotional supports, into the wraparound services that our schools should be providing,’ Wu said on Thursday. 

In her campaign manifesto, one of the pillars of her education plan was titled: ‘Ending the criminalization of students’. 

Wu's campaign manifesto includes the pledge to 'end the criminalization of students'

Wu’s campaign manifesto includes the pledge to ‘end the criminalization of students’

Wu wrote: ‘Metal detectors have been found to negatively impact students’ sense of safety at school, while school resource officers (SROs) disproportionately criminalize Black and Latinx students, perpetuating the school-to-prison pipeline. 

‘We must immediately move to dismantle these punitive measures and reinvest in restorative justice practices employed by trusted, adult school community members. 

‘We must also codify a policy for stronger surveillance oversight and accountability that protects BPS students – including undocumented students – from having sensitive information shared with the BPD or the BRIC.’ 

A police reform law in 2020 eliminated the requirement of Boston’s schools to have police officers inside. Boston police also lost their power to arrest students earlier this year.

Lampron was recovering from Wednesday’s attack, and the teenager facing charges. 

‘This incident is disturbing and completely unacceptable,’ Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said in a statement. 

‘We want to be clear: Violence of any kind is not tolerated and will not be tolerated in the Boston Public Schools.’ 

Police officials said the mother of the teenage girl had also threatened Lampron the night before the incident. 

The attack occurred at the Upper Campus of the Dr. William W. Henderson K-12 Inclusion School in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood

The attack occurred at the Upper Campus of the Dr. William W. Henderson K-12 Inclusion School in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood

Police said an officer assigned to a safety post outside the school campus was altered to a ‘very violent attack’ taking place at 2:30 p.m., WCVB reported.  

When the officer arrived, he found the principal on the ground unconscious, and being tended to by other staff members.

Witnesses to the incident told police that the student told Lampron and other school staff members to stop following her, before she allegedly attacked the principal. 

Lampron is reported to have been knocked out for several minutes before she was taken to hospital. 

The 61-year-old suffered a head injury and broken ribs, but while her injuries are considered serious, the police said they are not life threatening. 

The other staff member who was attacked was reported to be okay despite suffering from some injuries as well.  

Two school safety officers had been detaining the student before the officer arrived.

The teenager was taken into custody and will appear in Dorchester Juvenile Court on assault and battery charges. 

Police officials said that the investigation over the incident is still ongoing. 

Patricia Lampron, pictured celebrating Thanksgiving with family. Her daughter, MaryKate, center, said her family expects a full investigation over the incident

Patricia Lampron, pictured celebrating Thanksgiving with family. Her daughter, MaryKate, center, said her family expects a full investigation over the incident

The school was closed on Thursday following the attack, and the district said a crisis team and support staff will be available for students and faculty on Friday

The school was closed on Thursday following the attack, and the district said a crisis team and support staff will be available for students and faculty on Friday

MaryKate Lampron said there was no place for violence in schools following the incident

MaryKate Lampron said there was no place for violence in schools following the incident

MaryKate Lampron, the principal’s daughter, posted a message on behalf of the family, condemning the alleged assault. 

‘Today our mother, Patricia Lampron, was violently attacked at school and seriously injured by a student. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance where she is being assessed and treated for her injuries,’ she wrote on Facebook.

‘Anyone who knows her knows how passionate she is about this school, it’s students and the Henderson School community. Our primary concern is her health and safety. She will need time and support to recover from her injuries. 

‘We expect a full investigation into the circumstances of the assault to assure the safety of all the students, staff and teachers in the Henderson School Community. She wants everyone to know that there is NO place for violence in our schools.’ 

Cassellius echoed those remarks, ‘This violent behavior will not be tolerated,’  

‘The health, safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority at Boston Public Schools. 

‘I am personally involved and am ensuring we are taking immediate and swift action.’   



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