TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Investigators assigned to review a Taunton elementary school’s response to a playground incident among students last month have recommended all district administrators undergo extensive training.
The incident happened during recess at Elizabeth Pole Elementary School back in October. Superintendent John Cabral said the students were playing a game with a jump rope where they wrapped it around one another, pulled on it and spun in circles.
The game left one student with injuries to her neck, which Cabral said she reported to a school nurse.
Cabral previously described the incident, though accidental, as “deeply troubling,” especially since the student’s parents weren’t immediately notified.
The superintendent requested an independent administrative review of the school’s response to the incident as a result, which determined that district administrators and school nurses should undergo Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training.
“This training deals in great part with the process of communication within the school administrator group,” Cabral explained.
Cabral said an outside consultant will oversee the DEI training.
On top of that, investigators suggested administrators also receive “multiple levels of training” in communication, both with the public and caregivers via the district’s student information system.
Cabral said lunch recess assistants at Pole Elementary School will be engaging in training opportunities to review “safe and responsive” ways to help students in need.
The district is also partnering with Manet Community Health Center, according to Cabral. The nonprofit will serve as an additional resource for school nurses.
Since the student wasn’t accompanied to the school nurse, Cabral said an adult must now go with students to the nurse’s office “any time they are sent from recess.” The student’s family must also be promptly notified if their child suffered any substantial injuries.
While the injury in question was accidental, Cabral said the nurse must tell school administrators if an injury was provoked by another student.
The superintendent said the building administrator “will then call the student’s family to discuss any investigation that may be needed.”
Cabral said the appropriate administrative disciplinary action has been taken, but stopped short of providing any specifics.