By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—When Independence Academy celebrated its grand opening and an alternative path of education for high school students suffering from alcohol and drug addiction, among those in the crowd was 21-year-old West Bridgewater resident Ashley McDonnell whose battle with addiction began at Taunton High School when she was 14.
“I think it’s a great idea. I wish I had this option. I never knew there was a way out,” McDonnell said Thursday night during the grand opening at the recover high school’s location at 460 Belmont St. in Brockton. “I never would have been able to become sober surrounded by all of the same people doing the same things,” she said.
Young adults like Ashley McDonnell are exactly why officials at North River Collaborative and Brockton Public Schools got together almost 2 years ago to gain support for the idea of opening the state’s fourth so-called “recovery high school” for teenagers suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
The other specialized high schools are located in Boston, Beverly and Springfield, and until Independence Academy opened its doors in Brockton in December, there was no such option for high school-aged students to continue high school separated from the friends who had been a part of their addictive behavior and lifestyle in the first place. Click here for more...