Western Mass News is learning more about what's going on inside a couple of Greenfield schools where shelter-in-place orders have been ordered several times in recent days and weeks.

GREENFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass News is learning more about what's going on inside a couple of Greenfield schools where shelter-in-place orders have been ordered several times in recent days and weeks.

We went directly to Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner to get answers. She told us shelter-in-place situations have played out in both the middle and high school since the school year began for different reasons, but one on Wednesday prompted the police to be called.

“They were primarily here to make sure that the hallways were safe while the staff handled what the issues were. There was apparently an altercation with some students,” Wedegartner explained.

Western Mass News is getting answers from Wedegartner. She told us what she knows about a shelter-in-place order at Greenfield High School on Wednesday, which stemmed from a fight among students, but she said between the high school and the middle school, they have issued eight shelter-in-place orders since the start of the school year for a range of reasons.

"It could be a medical emergency. It could be an incident where someone is having a mental health crisis and yes, it could be just things that kids to fight or have words with each other,” Wedegartner added.

Wedegartner told us that the pandemic and remote learning are partly to blame for what is going on in the schools as she said the transition back to in-person learning for students has not been easy.

"So the transition has been hard, harder maybe than we anticipated, but I want people to understand a shelter-in-place is not a lockdown,” Wedegartner noted.

The mayor added that a shelter-in-place is a normal response to an incident where children and staff members could be injured.

At the Greenfield school committee meeting on Wednesday night, parents spoke out about what's been going on.

"Every time he comes home, he says the kids are yelling obscenities at each other. One day, he reported a good day, he said, because nobody yelled at the teacher today,” said one parent.

Also, parents said their children's educational experiences are being disrupted.

"We are invested. I moved here. I started a business here. We want good things for Greenfield, but if we don't figure out how to address this, I think we're in trouble,” said another parent.

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