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3 high school staffers could lose jobs after 2 students left on field trip

By Courtney Cole

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    BARNSTABLE, Massachusetts (WBZ) — Two Massachusetts high school students were left behind in Boston after a field trip and now three adults could lose their jobs.

The Barnstable School Committee is considering a recommendation to fire the three high school staff members, but some members of the school community on the Cape have been rallying to support the educators.

Educators on leave

Alik and Hope Taylor and Raffaella Almeida have been on administrative leave since April, shortly after they took 22 students to the Hynes Convention Center for a Belle of the Ball event. The non-profit provides prom dresses and accessories to students in need for free.

When the bus returned to the Cape, two students were left behind. Belle of the Ball staff ended up driving the students back home. After an investigation, the district’s superintendent recommended termination.

Fight to stop firings

At a recent school committee meeting, some members of the community, including the sister of one of the students left in Boston, spoke out against it.

“I do not think firing them is the right decision at all,” said Arianna Roberts, the sister of one of the students left behind. “But I think there needs to be training and people need to be held accountable for their actions and their mistakes.”

“I hate to think about what the environment for children of color will be in this school district without the presence of Hope and Alik Taylor,” said parent Danielle Hill.

The Taylors’ daughter says her parents have taken responsibility for what happened and deserve a second chance.

WBZ-TV reached out to the school department for comment. The Barnstable superintendent said she could not comment directly, but added that there is a well-defined process underway in the investigation and it will take time for it to come to a resolution.

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