Mashpee School Committee Member Acknowledges ‘Meltdown’ At Quashnet; Police Investigating

An incident last Wednesday, May 28,  involving Mashpee School Committee member Phyllis A. Sprout at the Quashnet School has led to an investigation by the Mashpee Police Department and school officials.

During a phone interview this Tuesday, Ms. Sprout confirmed that she “had a meltdown” while volunteering with 3rd grade students.

“I had been sadly dehydrated and I just got angry with the kids,” she said, adding that she wrote an apology to the students and stated that she would never volunteer at the school again.

Ms. Sprout said a female student began holding her breath and she responded by touching the student’s stomach “to get her to exhale.” She also said that she hit the arm of a chair with a book.

Ms. Sprout said that she was “not in a good place” that day because she was dehydrated from working on her farm on Quinaquisset Avenue and donating blood; following the incident, a visit to her doctor’s office confirmed that assessment of her condition.

Prior to the release of the statement on Tuesday, June 3, school committee chairman Scott P. McGee said that he had not been aware of the incident until that day. He expected that Quashnet principal Patricia M. DeBoer, teachers, and perhaps the school resource officer would conduct their own investigations as necessary. If there was an issue, Ms. Sprout could choose to resign—but the committee would have no authority in the matter, he said. Mr. McGee said that he had never seen her act in that manner.

On June 4, Mashpee Police Captain Scott W. Carline confirmed that the department is investigating this incident. Capt. Carline declined to discuss details of the investigation.

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