Lunenburg Forfeits High School Football Season Over Racist Graffiti

Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 01:24 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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The remainder of the Lunenburg High School football team's season was forfeited this week over racist graffiti, with several team members accused of spray-painting the N-word on a black teammates' house.

The racist graffiti was discovered on the foundation of 13-year-old Isaac A. Phillips' home on Friday and Massachusetts police believe it may have been the work of his fellow teammates, who are all white.

"Knights don't need n—!" the message read.

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On Monday, Lunenburg school superintendent Loci Jo Calmes announced that the football team would forfeit its remaining games as punishment. That includes the highly anticipated Thanksgiving rivalry game against St. Bernard's High School in Fitchburg scheduled for Nov. 27.

"The educators and coaches of Lunenburg value diversity, and we care deeply about all of our students," she told the Boston Globe. "We have no tolerance for racism in any form, and we do everything we can to eliminate it from our schools and our community.

"Numerous members of the faculty and staff were in attendance at the vigil [in support of Phillips’ family on Sunday] night, along with the entire football coaching staff and team. We have also sought out the assistance of the Anti-Defamation League to assist us in delivering additional educational programs for students to teach tolerance."

Police, with the help of the FBI, are investigating the incident but no arrests have been made.

"It’s disgusting," Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is black, told the Globe. "I don’t believe it is who the people of Lunenburg are. I don’t think it is who the people of the Commonwealth are.

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"I have spoken with the superintendent. I have reached out to the family. I haven’t connected with the family, but I hope all of the people of the immediate community and around the Commonwealth will rally around this family and send them their support and remind them what I know to be true, that we are better than this."

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