Mashpee Superintendent Brian Hyde’s ordeal with the courts ended Wednesday when Falmouth District Court Judge Mary Orfanello found him not guilty of all counts in a directed verdict Wednesday afternoon. The courtroom erupted in applause when the judge issued her rulings.
Now that Mr. Hyde is vindicated, we urge the Mashpee School Committee to return him to his position immediately. The superintendent had been on paid administrative leave since he was arraigned November 5 on charges of misdemeanor trespass and breaking and entering to commit a misdemeanor.
Brian Hyde has devoted most of his adult life to the children and schools of Mashpee. The school district’s test scores have improved during his administration and the district successfully elevated itself to a Level 2 district. By using a Cape-side leadership team, Superintendent Hyde was able to leverage local knowledge to turn around his schools.
We cannot imagine the ordeal Mr. Hyde and his family have endured these past few months. In addition to their pain and suffering, one imagines a long road ahead for Hyde as he tries to re-build his damaged reputation.
The past few months have witnessed a media witch-hunt against Mr. Hyde which was picked up by town leaders, all pushing the school committee to somehow “resolve” Hyde’s “status” despite his case not having been adjudicated. The school board acted conservatively, even as they were being pushed into a corner by outside forces. Now the school committee members must push back – and return their superintendent to his contractual position.
Brian Hyde had his day in court this week and was found innocent. It is time to get him back to work in Mashpee’s schools – without sanctions, without impediment and without delay.