Sandwich Students Flock to Sturgis


   Is Sandwich High becoming a Cape version of 'Salem's Lot?

Sandwich Students Flock to Sturgis Lottery - A quarter of SHS students apply

Cape Cod Today has learned from a trusted source that 25% of the incoming freshman class at Sandwich High School entered the Sturgis Charter Public School enrollment lottery last spring.  With all that’s going on in their town’s beleaguered school system, who can blame them?

Actually, who can blame anyone for wanting to attend Sturgis?  The school consistently ranks as one of the best public high schools in the United States.  And who can blame anyone for wanting to avoid Sandwich High School?  While SHS is ranked among the 500 best high schools by Newsweek magazine, recent publicity surrounding the school makes us wonder why a parent would dare send their child there.

Questions Continue to Emerge

As the highly publicized Ty McGrath assault case grinds forward, more questions emerge by the day.  McGrath’s mother feels her son was targeted by district administrators because she filed a report about a football player who was allegedly smoking a joint just prior to a varsity game – and was allowed to play in that game despite her report. 

We have the assault and battery case where McGrath is alleged to have beaten a freshman both in the school locker room and outside the building.  There is the resulting case against the alleged victim’s brother who is charged with making threats against McGrath.

McGraths are contemplating lawsuits against the Sandwich police and perhaps even the alleged victim’s family. We also have the journalist-heaven story of a police officer reprimanded in open court by a judge for improper interrogation tactics, causing a confession by Mr. McGrath to be thrown out of the case he is defending.

Yesterday, the “Sandwich Watchdog” blog – clearly a supporter of Mr. McGrath – implied that the McGraths are contemplating lawsuits against the police and perhaps even the alleged victim’s family. 

Meanwhile the alleged victim’s family has held their silence on any civil actions they may be contemplating against the school or Mr. McGrath.  Sandwich Watchdog reports that the McGraths will not settle the case with a plea bargain but expect young Ty to be exonerated at trial.

If the Lawsuit Fits…

Assistant Superintendent Maxine Minkoff received a settlement of $165,000. The Sandwich Public Schools have spent a lot of time on lawsuits lately.  There was the shameful case of Assistant Superintendent Maxine Minkoff, who went after the district for a breach of contract surrounding her dismissal in 2009.  Minkoff eventually received a settlement of $165,000. 

Then there was the court battle of former Superintendent Mary Ellen Johnson, who also claimed a breach of contract but eventually was defeated in the courts.

Heaven knows what other litigation the district might be involved with.  With everyone seeming to be in such a litigious mood around town, we wonder how the school leadership is able to spare the time to educate students.

Institutionalized Bullying?

The Sandwich school leadership remains silent.Some of the comments by Julianne McGrath have left us wondering if there is some kind of institutionalized bullying that’s sanctioned at Sandwich High School.  Ms. McGrath implies that if her son was in trouble and she hadn’t been in the administration’s disfavor then the alleged assault might have been handled differently. 

Does this mean that it’s okay for seniors to beat up freshmen as long as their parents are on the Good Do-Bee list in the office?  Are there sanctioned gangs of jocks stalking the locker rooms to pounce upon unsuspecting underclassmen?    

We don’t know and the school leadership remains silent.

Is It Something in the Water?

The town which gave us Jeff Perry, Camp Good News.Sandwich is that garden spot of the Upper Cape that brought us the Camp Good News scandal last year.  Senator Scott Brown blew the lid off that godly establishment when he told us in his biography of the sexual molestation at the hands of a camp staffer. 

The town managed to overlook the shameful past of its local State Rep. Jeff Perry.

Then there was the big Sandwich Community School swimming pool locker room scandal last year, where parents were concerned that their kids were in the locker rooms with un-vetted community pool members.  Meanwhile, the school district’s leadership is suffering one melt-down after another.

Sandwich is starting to sound more like Salem’s Lot.

Some Questions for Superintendent Canfield

While Superintendent Richard Canfield mails home surveys to parents of kids who left the district, it appears that another 25% of his freshman class is desperately seeking enrollment at Sturgis.  We’re not going to ask him why they’re leaving until he finishes his survey process, assuming there are any students left in the school by then.

  1. Have you disciplined any of the adults who were in charge of the SHS locker room on the day of the alleged assault by Ty McGrath?
  1. Who called the police that day?  Was it school staff or a student?  If it was the staff, what is the protocol for escalating an assault from an in-school matter to a police matter?
  1. In the past year, how many locker room assaults have resulted in the police being called?
  1. Have any students been sexually assaulted in the locker rooms? 
  1. Have Sandwich athletic teams continued to engage in hazing or rites of passage such as Andover High School’s homoerotic “ookie cookie” game?
  1. Why don’t you re-boot your athletic programs by removing the athletic director and team coaches?
  1. Have any parties in the alleged McGrath assault filed lawsuits against the school district yet?
  2. What steps have you taken to ensure that further locker room assaults do not happen at Sandwich High School?

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