Mashpee School Committee To Investigate Superintendent Trespassing Allegation

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Mashpee Superintedent of Schools Brian Hyde

CCB MEDIA PHOTO
Mashpee Superintedent of Schools Brian Hyde

MASHPEE – The Mashpee School Committee will launch an investigation into the actions of School Superintendent Brian Hyde after the mother of a student alleged that he trespassed into their home.

The committee voted unanimously to conduct the investigation at the recommendation of Mashpee Town Manager Rodney Collins.

“For the purposes of getting all of the facts fleshed out so that you folks know what happened and the general public knows what happened—good, bad or indifferent—it’s a matter of transparency. It’s a matter of accountability,” Collins said. “I would strongly suggest and recommend that you seek an independent investigation into the facts and circumstances for the purposes of putting this all in the accurate perspective.”

Hyde has issued a statement that the incident on September 29 was a routine residency check to determine whether a student, who had moved out of the district and then returned, was a resident of the town.

But the student’s mother, who had recently purchased a house on Windsor Way in Mashpee, said Hyde arrived at the home unannounced and entered uninvited to search her daughter’s room.

There is no dispute that Hyde arrived at the home on with a school resource officer. According to his statement, he was invited into the home, and the entire incident took about five minutes.

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Mashpee Superintendent of Schools Brian Hyde, at left, listens to Mashpee Town Manager Rodney Collins, along with Mashpee School Committee Chairman Scott McGee, Vice Chairman Don Myers and committee member Chris Santos.

CCB MEDIA PHOTO
Mashpee Superintendent of Schools Brian Hyde, at left, listens to Mashpee Town Manager Rodney Collins, along with Mashpee School Committee Chairman Scott McGee, Vice Chairman Don Myers and committee member Chris Santos.

The mother filed a complaint with the Mashpee Police Department which is investigating the matter.

Members of the school committee last night discussed whether their investigation should focus on the policy of residency checks or the incident on September 29.

Collins, who is the town’s former police chief, was in the audience and was asked to weigh in on the matter, as school committee members were debating what to do.

Collins said the police investigation is looking only into whether any laws were broken, but, he said, it is up to the school committee to determine whether its top employee violated any policies or acted inappropriately.

“They are going to be focusing only on the criminal element, whether or not there was an entry into a home and whether or not a person entered or remained without authority to do so,” Collins said.

Other audience members also offered comments. Kristen Boyd, a mother of children who have attended Mashpee schools and a 20-year resident of the town, questioned where the policy of checking students’ homes is written and why she had never heard of it. To her, she said, the incident sounds like bullying and intimidation.

“It’s sad that school officials feel the need to run around town trying to enforce residency requirements. . . . While I might applaud fiscal responsibility, it has a very unwelcoming, non-compassionate air to it,” she said of going to the homes of new students to determine whether they live in town.

But former Mashpee School Superintendent and former Middle/High School Principal Sean Gilrein said he was there to speak on behalf of Hyde’s “leadership, advocacy and his support for Mashpee’s School District.”

Gilrein said, “Mr. Hyde is perhaps one of the most dedicated, committed and caring educators that I’ve had an opportunity to meet in my 30 plus year career.”

By LAURA M. RECKFORD, CapeCod.com News Editor

Comments

  1. laura fitzgerald says:

    I agree with Mr. Gilreins comments completely, the town is very fortunate to have a top notch person in Brian Hyde. Perhaps another layer of enforcement between the school dept and town management should work together to confirm student actual residency, instead of putting the sole responsibility upon our very busy superintendent, whose focus should be on the education of the students. I stand behind Brian Hyde.

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