Mass. high school defending decision to cancel football season

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December 4, 2013, 10:12 pm
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(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Lunenburg, Mass.) - The police investigation in Lunenburg, Mass. into racist graffiti spray-painted on the side of a home is now centered on one person: The mother of a boy who accused her son's teammates of racism.

Wednesday night, school officials talked about their decision to cut the season short.

"I never looked at the cancellations as punishment, although it was certainly viewed that way by many. In the end, the safety of students and attendees at the games was deemed as of paramount importance. At no time did I or any employee of the schools indict or implicate players," said Lunenburg Superintendent of Schools Loxi Jo Calmes.

Lunenburg's superintendent and high school principal defended the decision to cancel the rest of the football season amid allegations against the players of writing racist graffiti.

"I thought would I have brought my own kids to that game? And the answer is no way. Why? Because it wasn't safe to play," Principal Brian Spadafino said.

The spray-painted slur on the home of 13-year-old football player Isaac Phillips and the subsequent fallout that has torn apart a town has now taken a seemingly definitive turn.

"Most of the leads that we have followed up on throughout the investigation have led back toward the house," said Lunenburg Police Lt. Michael Luth.

A reporter asked, "And you would call her a strong suspect?"

"Yes, I would," Lt. Luth said.

A reporter asked, "Is she the only suspect active at this time?"

"Yes," said Lt. Luth.

The finger is now pointing directly at Andrea Brazier, the white mother of Isaac. The boy's father, Anthony Phillips, is African-American. It was Andrea who went to police and accused the team.

Monday, police cleared the players of any wrongdoing. Tuesday, investigators executed a search warrant at the Phillips home, taking writing samples only from Andrea Brazier and two cans of spray paint.

Court paperwork reveals "Andrea was told by a FBI agent that she wanted the investigation to stop because she was the one who spray painted the graffiti on her house and Andrea stated 'OK'. Andrea just kept answering 'OK' and that she wanted everything to end and that we did not understand."

Meanwhile, three seniors on the Lunenburg football team can not believe all that has gone on, especially if Brazier is to blame.

"I don't really understand her motive for coming after the football team. She was a big supporter of the football team, she was a member of the booster club," senior Sam Arciprete said.

"If it be the mom, if she just comes out and apologizes, I'm sure there would be some people who don't accept it. But I know I will. Some other kids will, you know, for the most part it would be appreciated," said senior Cam Landers.

Senior Greg McGrath thinks the school acted too quickly.

The superintendent also talked about the other racist remarks not part of this investigation, those lobbed at the Worcester South team by Lunenburg players in a previous game.

Meanwhile, police say charges are not imminent, but they do intend to bring them. They could range from obstruction to filing a false report.

Tags: massachusetts, Josh Brogadir, Lunenburg, Isaac Phillips, anthony phillips, andrea brazier, Lunenburg High School, Lunenburg High School football
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