RCI: When current and former staffers at Tri-County Schools for troubled youth gathered for a reunion this May at the Brass Cat bar in Easthampton, they did not know what was coming.
By the end of that month, the head of the nonprofit that operated Tri-County for 30 years would announce the school’s abrupt closure for the next school year. Two months after that, the reasons for that closure would become clear: the release of a damning investigation which found repeated abuse of the often traumatized children the school was designed to serve.
That abuse was enabled by internal turmoil and administrative unresponsiveness to staff and student concerns, a MassLive investigation has found. Former staffers, students and parents said that school leadership placed under-supported and ill-trained staff on a collision course with emotionally troubled students, leading at times to physical violence and avoidable injuries. read more