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Mayor orders probe into how minister charged with shooting teen got jobs with BPS

Mayor Walsh this morning announced "a comprehensive internal inquiry of the employment history of Shaun Harrison" by the BPS department of labor relations.

Walsh says he plans to meet with both BPS and BPD officials today to discuss the criminal investigation into the Roxbury minister, arrested Thursday after he allegedly tried killing a 17-year-old who had been dealing pot for him. Harrison could face new charges due to the weapons, ammunition, cocaine and marijuana police say they found during a search of his apartment on Friday.

At the time of the shooting, Harrison worked at English High School, after stints at three other BPS schools. City officials say his official BPS records show "no evidence that would have linked him to criminal activity in or out of school."

In a statement, Walsh said:

The charges against Shaun Harrison are extremely disturbing and I am greatly concerned because of his role with students at English High School. It's critical that, in addition to a criminal investigation, we take a thorough look at his employment within our public school system to ensure that we are taking the necessary steps to protect students throughout the city.

Interim School Superintendent John McDonough said BPS has assigned extra staff to English High to help students deal with the fact the man they called "Rev" may have shot a fellow student. School officials are also planning a meeting for parents this week.

Meanwhile, Jamarhl Crawford considers what might have turned a man of God, and one who was active in anti-violence efforts, into an alleged killer - he looks at the abuse of one of Harrison's sons by a fellow minister in 2004 and 2005 and the 2013 arrest of another son for shooting his girlfriend in the head.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

this is a 'skimmed' point of view..

but maybe the guy 'went bad' at some point. You know like some people do when they get over taken by the thought of having power and lots of money.

Doesn't justify it, but it does happen.

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That too!

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Is there anyone Jamarhl Crawford won't make excuses for?

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become Dr. Crawford, the psychiatrist? His explanation of Mr. Harrison's wrong-doing is purely speculative. Another theory might be that the Reverend has been a fraud for a very long time.

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Everybody else here already somehow just knows the guy was crooked from the start, right? But, really, everybody else here is just speculating, because nobody here (or almost nobody here) had ever even heard of the guy until Friday morning.

I linked to his piece because, yes, I found it interesting speculation. I don't know anything about Harrison beyond what I've read and heard over the past few days, but assuming he did start out on the straight and narrow, it's an interesting (and sad) question as to why he may have taken another path. And those two incidents in his life (both of which were public before, even if the media now has a collective memory that only goes back a couple months) might provide an explanation.

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"In another tragic incident, in January 2013, Rev. Harrison’s older son, Jeremy Harrison, then 28, was arrested on gun charges. Jeremy was a “Street Worker” with the city’s anti-violence program. These charges stemmed from an incident after Jeremy “accidentally” shot his girlfriend in the head, while allegedly “cleaning” his gun in the apartment where they lived together. The gun was later found to be an illegally owned, high caliber weapon with serial numbers obliterated. This is just the type of weapon that many in our community are organizing against in our efforts to stop the violence."

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Change "weapon" to "person" and you'll be doing good.

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I also have to ask why was a "reverend" hired at a public HS? Had no one heard of his views on LGBT matters before they hired him? Also, separation between church and state and all that.

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The chairman of the School Committee was the Rev. Gregory Groover (although, during the limited time I devoted to school issues, I didn't see him doing anything to try to blur the line between church and state).

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I believe there are anti-discrimination laws that would prohibit this.

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A minister who is openly anti-LGBT might raise some concerns in a school system in a state where discrimination against LGBT people is illegal. And a minister who publicly complains about how he's not allowed to lead bible classes in a public school might raise issues from the other side of that amendment you're referring to.

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People are allowed to have their own opinion! Most won't agree with said opinion, but its still his right.

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He doesn't have a right to a job.

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You can totally have your blatant homophobic opinions but with that should come a "no hire" asterisk for a PUBLIC school system that has LGBT kids and parents.

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My response was to the question of "why was a "reverend" hired at a public HS?"

This "rev" was a bad candidate for a number of reasons but being a man/woman of the cloth cannot automatically exclude someone from being able to work in a school.

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Mahty needs to shit can these people.

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Problem is Mahty is replacing the leftover Menino era garbage with more of the same.

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Or maybe he's Boston's Stringer Bell.

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He got his job the same way many BPS employees that DO NOT RESIDE IN BOSTON get their jobs! BPS does not adhere to its hiring policy of Boston residents. Nepotism is still very much in play, too.

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Google it - Boston resident.

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I know he's a resident, but I was speaking to the question overall. He got his job the SAME way as those who DO NOT RESIDE in Boston. Reading is fundamental. Try it...and you can't Google it. But do go back and READ my first post.

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Or is it you?

We get it, BPS does hire people who don't live in Boston. By state law they are allowed to. That fact has nothing to do with Harrison getting hired anyway, as he lives in Boston. It has also not been alleged that any family member works for the BPS, let alone hired him, so nepotism has nothing to do with it either.

Therefore, your comment is boiled down to

He got his job the same way many BPS employees ... get their jobs!

How? He put in a job application at Court Street? His friend told him a job was open? I think the probe is to see how this came about.

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Some cases make sense other don't.

For teachers and school staff it shouldn't matter. You should hire the best person for the job. If it's a tie then use their residency to make the decision.

For police offices I think it's a bit different. I still remember the Amy Lord murder and how the cops knew of the killer already because he committed an assault in Dorchester ( or was it Roxbury?) and the police officer never pursued it. Turns out the officer lived in some suburb. If the cop lived in Dorchester...I think things would have turned out differently because there is a natural, vested interest in keeping your own streets safe.

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While the sexual molestation of his son and his family choosing to sweep the crime under the carpet were wrong, by themselves they probably do not constitute enough motivation to start selling pot and then trying to kill someone as a result (I am assuming here) of a bad drug deal. This of course depends on how strong was Mr. Harrison's moral compass or his conscience and ability to choose good over bad.

The story of Stephen Pasceri is a good example of what questions needs to be asked. He "snapped" and killed the doctor he believed killed his mother. But The Globe story provided a much broader description of the man. Mr. Pasceri was seemingly from a much earlier time in his life a man who could not bend with the blows that life delivers. When the final blow hit him - his mother's death - he snapped. But the "snap," what pushed him beyond a point of no return, was due in part to a personality that had over several years become rigid, barely contained a controlled rage and which finally forced him into a fateful action that whatever conscience remained could not stop him.

Mr. Harrison does not sound like someone who snapped. Selling pot was hypocritical to what he represented on the outside but does not sound like a sudden snap. Perhaps the alleged murder attempt was a snap. Yet even that snap should be seen in its larger context. He apparently was a man of two separate faces that shared only an outward appearance. Assuming he is guilty perhaps Mr. Harrison over time developed a moral system that justified saying one thing but doing the opposite. To me the important question is how did that moral system develop?

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I would disagree that Harrison did not snap. I think that he shares a lot of attributes with Pasceri. They were both men of a rigid, inflexible and unassailable sense of righteousness. Harrison's came from religion - but not just any religion - a fundamentalist take on religion. Both of them displayed a slide down a slippery slope of violating their own principles in response to the blows of life, as well as a barely concealed rage. Both went over to the dark side in response to the "assaults" on their indignant righteousness. And in both cases the outcome was almost inevitable.

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There's always a history, usually over-looked, minimized, rationalized or denied by co-dependents and apologists. There's always a back story. The Pasceri Globe story did a good job of illustrating that.

No doubt, Mr. Harrison has his own history and abettors.

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Why hasn't Reverend Larry Brown been arrested for rape!
Who sponsored Reverend Harrison for his position of Dean of students?
What other agencies did these shady men of God work for?
Mr Crawford it is time for you to man up and expose all the frauds from the school department to police and politicians who knew and did nothing to stop the madness.

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