Kickemuit Middle School back open after staged teacher sick-out

Classes were back in session on Monday at Kickemuit Middle School in Warren after teachers sent a message on Friday by staging a sick-out, forcing the school to be canceled.

The teachers union blamed administrators for a serious lack of discipline for rowdy kids, leading to questions about safety for the teachers and students.

Parents and students at the school described a toxic environment where bullying is running rampant.

Superintendent Mario Andrade and School Committee Chairperson Erin Schofield sent out letters to parents over the weekend ensuring them that the school was safe, and changes were in the works. 

“Each day we are entrusted with the safety of 3,200 students and hundreds of staff members,” Andrade said in the letter. “School safety is our top priority and responsibility.”

“We have been in communications with the teachers union, and we will be scheduling a meeting with them this week to hear more about their concerns and to collaborate on solutions,” Schofield said in the letter. “In light of that planned meeting, the union has assured us that the teachers are comfortable that progress is being made in good faith.”

Andrade acknowledges in the letter that starting Monday, Kickemuit would be seeing some changes.

Andrade said there will be more strides to tighten up security by adding more staff in the hallways and to make sure there are adequate counseling services for students who need it.

Andrade also announced that starting Monday a uniformed police officer would be inside the school.

Warren Police confirm that at least one officer was inside Kickemuit the entire school day.

“This is the beginning of our process — not the end,” Andrade said in his letter.

ABC 6 reached out to the superintendent for comment, but our calls and emails were not returned.