In Lunenburg, Mass., the exterior of an eighth-grade student’s home was defaced with racist graffiti. The student, Isaac Phillips, plays football. His family believes another player on the team is responsible for the vile vandalism, though no one has fessed up yet.
Naturally, then, the Blue Knights will forfeit the last two games of the season. School district officials will collectively punish the entire Lunenburg High School football team (and two other teams that would like to play football) for some completely unidentified knucklehead’s actions, reports the Boston Herald.
The two games had been postponed already. One of the now-canceled games is a much-anticipated Nov. 27 battle against hated rival St. Bernard’s Central Catholic just down the road in Fitchburg.
“That was a decision made by the superintendent and the school committee,” proclaimed Kerry Speidel, the town manager. “I feel it is the right decision.”
Local police and the FBI are investigating the incident, which first came to light on Friday when Phillips’s mother found the spray-painted graffiti.
It’s not clear what the graffiti said.
The boy’s mother is white. His father is half-black.
The father, Anthony Phillips, has criticize the school for failing to respond to allegations that his son had been hazed by other students. The elder Phillips supports the decision to cancel the rest of the season.
“It’s drastic, but sometimes drastic things have to happen,” he told the Herald.
At a long, passion-filled Wednesday school board meeting attended by over 100 current and former students, others agreed that the football season should be canceled.
“I just can’t get over the mentality that you would think that a game should be played after something like this occurred,” said one unidentified attendee, according to Boston Fox affiliate WFXT.
Other people argued that it’s not fair to penalize an entire football team — and all the students and fans rooting for that football team — because one person who may or may not have something to do with the football team did something wrong.
The school board has not called off school itself despite the racist graffiti. The eighth-grader has stayed home from school all week. It’s not clear if he is going to return.