Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Masterson's pack of troubles

A little music to listen to......

It's been a busy week without a lot of time to write or even think. A number of things have happened that are worth commenting about here. First off, Mark Masterson, the Superintendent of Schools in Maynard was put on paid administrative leave earlier this week. He was contacted by another MHS alumni, a gentleman named Brian Dunnigan, approximately 16 months prior to Joe Magno's being arrested and charged with child rape. Brian had called to report Magno on behalf of a friend of his who had been another of Magno's victims. Masterson maintains that he confused two conversations he had with other people and denied knowing what faculty member Brian was talking about; Brian stated point blank that he told Masterson directly that he was referring to Magno.

Anyway, since Magno's death, the I-Team at WBZ-TV in Boston has gotten the story and reported it, subsequently leading to Masterson's suspension.

I remember thinking when Magno died that it was not the end of the story. Personally, I suspect others had the same thought cross their minds as well. Furthermore, I believe that as this unfolds further it will show that the foundation of the school system in Maynard is loaded with rot. I also believe that at some point the pressure on the Maynard administration will cause it to fall. I am not saying this for any other reason than I believe it will happen, not because I wish it to. I really, truly believe, after the things I've witnessed over the past year or so, that there is a problem with the Maynard schools that will only be fixed by ripping out the foundation and rebuilding it from the ground up. That especially includes replacing the administration of the school system. It's becoming more clear that is what's going to have to happen for things to improve in Maynard.

I don't mean for this to be a Maynard-focused diatribe, but there is a lot to say about that little town. When I grew up there in the '60's and '70's, I remember thinking even as a little kid that there were things wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on them. I had relatives that lived in the surrounding communities; my grandparents lived in neighboring Acton, I had aunts, uncles, and cousins that also lived in Acton as well as the towns of Stow, Lincoln, Concord, and Billerica. That doesn't include the distant relatives that I have that lived in towns surrounding Boston. But I distinctly remember visiting relatives in these other places and thinking to myself that the towns were better than Maynard. People talk about Maynard having an "inferiority complex", and I think there is merit to that; I remember feeling like the "poor kid from the other side of the tracks" around many of my relatives because I lived in Maynard. And it made me feel badly about myself back then. Not always, but often enough.

Unfortunately, that mentality extended to many of my peers, I think. When you look at towns that surround Maynard, they are all rather affluent in comparison. So it was a big deal (and still is, I believe) for Maynard to have this gem in its crown known as WAVM. If you look at the demographics of the town, and the success stories that have come out of that student-run radio station, it's amazing how well the participants of the program have done over the years, in spite of Joe Magno's presence. Granted, he didn't pursue everyone who was involved in the operation of the radio station; he just went after males in the 12-15 year-old division. If you had blonde hair and blue eyes, that would make you more attractive to him. I didn't have either of those characteristics, so I don't know what made me stand out to him, other than I was a relatively small-statured person at that point in my life, and I was innocent.

These days, I have none of those characteristics: I am not small, I have no hair, and I have seen and done more than most people would ever imagine. I am also extremely protective of my children. That, in itself, drives them crazy; they hate it that I am as nosy about their business as I am, especially when it involves the people that they hang out with. But the world we live in isn't a particularly safe place; it really never has been, but I think as a society we've been naive to think the past was a better time. Perhaps I'm a bit of a cynic, but I don't believe we've ever lived in a safe world. That said, I do my best to keep my family as safe as possible.

Meanwhile, in other news..... So - how about them Colts?

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