ARHS: Our All American High School
In a letter to Faye Brady, Director of Student Services at ARPS, dated Febuary 3rd, exactly one week after Amherst Regional High School was closed because of a Facebook "threat", the mother of the white student accused of using a racial slur corroborates everything her husband outlined in his 4 page letter used to defend himself against job termination for trying to get the schools to stop three black youths from bullying his son.
After the Wednesday, January 22nd impromptu meeting where the father first informed Mary Custard of the bullying his son was enduring, the mother also spoke with Ms. Custard later that afternoon. She wanted to know why the parents of the three black students had been contacted the day before but not her family? Ms. Custard did not give her an answer.
She closed the conversation with, "My son is afraid to go to school and this is not acceptable -- as the School should be a safe place to be."
On Friday, January 24 after three confrontations in the High School the mother met in person with Ms. Custard where the joint meeting with all the parents was concieved and scheduled for Monday, January 27. That meeting was cancelled due to the sudden closing of the school.
The mother continues, "I again told her (Ms. Custard) that my son was afraid to go to school and did not feel safe, and I felt that not enough had been done in regards to the situation."
In her poignent closing the mother directly addresses her son being branded a racist for using the "N-word" (five letter version ending in a), to congratulate a black friend (who took no offense).
"What started out as an argument between teenagers, all of whom use 'the word', somehow turned into a 'racially motivated' hate crime."
She emphatically continues: "This is NOT true as the original statement that my son made was NOT racial, but a pat on the back. My son is NOT a racist as he has been portrayed. Having been brought up in Holyoke he was brought up NOT seeing color. He has many friends of all different colors -- black, Puerto Rican, Indian, Pakistani, Moldovan as well as white.
We have many races within our own family. The accusation that my son is a racist is the most hurtful thing that has come out of this entire incident. "
Her final sentence says it all: "It was not handled expediently and was allowed to go on for four days -- far too long. Only then (after the Facebook "threat" discovered) was anything done -- obviously too little too late."
The letter was signed by the mother, father and son.