Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Boston Globe: "answers will be forthcoming pending the outcome of the investigation”

School officials are investigating after Franklin High School fans heckled an opposing team’s players during a varsity baseball game with homophobic, racist, and antisemitic slurs.

Joshua Hanna, the principal of Franklin High School, said in a letter to families Friday that officials “denounce such behavior and are outraged” about the heckling, which had happened the night before and was directed at a team from Sharon.

“Our hearts go out to the Sharon community,” Hanna said. “There is no place for such behavior in our schools and at school events.”

The slurs were yelled by a group of Franklin fans gathered near a fence along the left-field outfield area during the night game held in Franklin, according to Hanna.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Coincidentally, the School Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, has an update on "Approaches to Student Behavior Presentation – Lucas Giguere, Josh Hanna, Craig Williams," The full meeting agenda can be found online

Boston Globe: "answers will be forthcoming pending the outcome of the investigation”
Boston Globe: "answers will be forthcoming pending the outcome of the investigation”

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Franklin Police on FHS baseball vs Sharon incident

"Franklin Vs Sharon Baseball Game Incident 

It was brought to our attention by the Franklin School Department that fans at a Franklin High School baseball game yesterday (Thursday) allegedly made antisemitic, racist, and homophobic epithets towards players of the Sharon baseball team.

The Franklin Police Department in no way supports or condones this alleged behavior. The matter is currently being investigated by the Franklin School Department. The FPD will assist the School Department if needed but there is no current criminal investigation into the matter.

If information arises that warrants a criminal investigation one will be opened."

Shared from the Twitter thread beginning with ->

Franklin Observer also reports on the incident
Franklin Police on FHS baseball vs Sharon incident
Franklin Police on FHS baseball vs Sharon incident

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Location, location, location: Even stores within a chain differ by location

“I could go into a supermarket, and I can tell everything about the people who live [in the area] based on what’s in their carts, based on what’s at eye level, what’s not at eye level,” said Phil Lempert, also known as the “Supermarket Guru.”

In retail, specific product placement — not just a store’s inventory — heavily influences a shopper’s experience. So shouldn’t responsible markets encourage shoppers to make better choices?

“There’s a lot of racism, to be honest, I think, behind these decisions, whether it’s unconscious or implicit,” said Andrea Richardson, a policy researcher focused on nutrition epidemiology at the Rand Corp. and professor at the Pardee Rand Graduate School. The presence of a supermarket in your neighborhood should signal that you aren’t living in a food desert, but, I wondered, if the supermarket isn’t guiding you toward more healthful food choices, you might as well be.
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)
An endcap display of marked-down items at the Stop & Shop on 460 Blue Hill Ave. in Dorchester shows discounts on cake frosting, two for $3, and cake mix, four for $5.CHASEEDAW GILES/KHN
An endcap display of marked-down items at the Stop & Shop on 460 Blue Hill Ave. in Dorchester shows discounts on cake frosting, two for $3, and cake mix, four for $5.CHASEEDAW GILES/KHN

Friday, January 14, 2022

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

"it is best to approach conflicts over speech as teachable moments"

"IN JANUARY, a few Northampton middle school students, perhaps emboldened, maybe bored, after nearly a year of remote learning, projected images of the Confederate flag as their computer screen backdrop during virtual classes. Perhaps it was a political statement, or maybe a poorly considered joke. Whatever the intent, it did not go unnoticed. The school’s principal, Desmond Caldwell, asked the John F. Kennedy Middle School community to not display or wear the Confederate flag in school, saying it disrupted learning and made some students and staff feel attacked and unsafe. 

Caldwell’s plea did not end the issue. The issue exploded with an anonymous social media post attacking the principal. Middle and high school students in the Western Massachusetts city then led a demonstration in front of the JFK School, supporting Caldwell and calling for the school district to take action. The Northampton School Committee obliged in March, banning the display of the Confederate flag in all schools, joining its neighbor Easthampton and a few other school districts across the country that have deemed the symbol an impediment to learning and banned its display outside of classroom instruction. 

If the move put Northampton ahead of the pack in clamping down on hate symbols, the left-leaning college town of 28,000 is now poised to go several steps beyond that. In September, the School Committee will take up a proposal to ban two other symbols of hate — swastikas and nooses — while also establishing a wide-ranging system in which various types of bias can be reported and investigated. It would make Northampton the only community in the state, and possibly the only one outside of Oregon, to enact such a far-reaching, anti-bias policy. "

Continue reading the article online 

Franklin has a Freedom Team to promote "Unity in the Community"

Friday, August 13, 2021 More Perfect Union - 026 - Tulsa & Juneteenth

"In this episode, Frank and the group discuss the history of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Texas, the history of Juneteenth, and the recent developments on the legislative push to make Juneteenth a nationally recognized holiday."
Direct link -> More Perfect Union - 026 - Tulsa & Juneteenth More Perfect Union - 026 - Tulsa & Juneteenth

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Franklin Area Mom's "Lessons for Littles" (video)

"How do you navigate conversations with your young children about topics such as race, diversity, inclusion, and equity? 

Watch as jamele adams (educator, poet, and activist), Dr. Ashley Cameron (licensed child and adult psychologist), Julie Parsons (Executive Director of the Cambridge-Ellis School and veteran kindergarten teacher), Sofie Chouinard (local high school student), and Mia Story (local high school student) discuss the importance of having race-related conversations with young children, and when and how to have these conversations. The discussion is moderated by Franklin Town Councilor Cobi Frongillo

This event was sponsored by Franklin Area Moms ( and Franklin Area Against Racism (FAAR). Video by Franklin TV."

Direct link to video on YouTube ->

Direct link to Franklin Area Mom's page with speaker profiles, and additional resources

Franklin Area Mom's "Lessons for Littles" - Jun 6, 2021
Franklin Area Mom's "Lessons for Littles" - Jun 6, 2021 More Perfect Union - 024 - Reparations and Evanston

"In this episode, Frank and the group discuss the recent passing of legislation in Evanston, Illinois, the positive impact it will have for POC, and the importance of reparations for African Americans"
Direct link -> More Perfect Union - 024 - Reparations and Evanston More Perfect Union - 024 - Reparations and Evanston


Friday, July 16, 2021

FM #580 - Community Conversation on Housing & Race - 07/14/21 (audio)

FM #580 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 580 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the Community Conversation virtual meeting on Housing and Race coordinated by the Franklin Area Against Racism group (FAAR) and held on Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Town Councilor Cobi Frongillo moderated the discussion with featured guests 

  • Jim Johnston (longtime Franklin resident and historian) 

  • Bryan Taberner (Franklin’s Director of Planning and Community Development)

  • Jesse Kanson-Benanav (Executive Director of Abundant Housing MA) 

The discussion focused on how Franklin's housing policies and practices have fostered socio-economic inequities and worked to reduce diversity in the community over the years.

Franklin TV recorded and will be making available the video of this virtual meeting. When available, I’ll include the links here as well.

The audio recording runs about 1 hour and 20 minutes, so let’s listen to the Community Conversation on Housing and Race.

Audio file =>


Link to Director Taberner’s Housing presentation doc 

Or at Slideshare -> 

Link to the announcement of this Community Conversation 

Visit the Development and Community Planning page for additional info on the Master Plan, the Housing Production Plan, etc. 


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.  

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.


How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit or

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"


FM #580 - Community Conversation on Housing & Race - 07/14/21 (audio)
FM #580 - Community Conversation on Housing & Race - 07/14/21 (audio)

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Reminder: Community Conversations - Housing and Race - July 14 - 7 PM (via Zoom)

Housing and Race - July 14 - 7 PM
Housing and Race - July 14 - 7 PM
The Franklin Area Against Racism group (FAAR) is holding the second segment of its Community Conversations series, this time on Housing and Race next Wednesday, July 14th at 7:00PM. 

We invited Jim Johnston (longtime Franklin resident and historian), Bryan Taberner (Franklin Director of Planning and Community Development), and Jesse Kanson-Benanav (Executive Director of Abundant Housing MA) to discuss how how Franklin's housing policies and practices have fostered socio-economic inequities and worked to reduce diversity in the community.

Zoom info contained in the image

Background on Jesse Kanson-Benanav

Monday, June 14, 2021

Rabbi Tom Alpert on the FHS incident

Via Rabbi Tom Alpert:  "I want to share with you the email that I sent to Temple Etz Chaim about the swastika incident.  "
"Dear Temple Etz Chaim community,

Like many of you, I was saddened and angered by the news that yesterday grafitti depicting swastikas was found in a Boys’ bathroom at Franklin High School.  I commend Principal Joshua Hanna for his swift response.  While hindsight will and can yield ideas about how to improve that response, it is welcome that he quickly insisted that this sort of hate symbol has no place in the schools.

Of course, we in the Jewish community feel the special sting of this symbol, and while it can be addressed to others as well, it always includes us.  It is particularly concerning in light of two factors.  One is that this is not the first incident of swastikas being displayed in Franklin schools.  The other is that we have seen a spike in anti-Semitic activities over the last few years, and in particular over the last few weeks.  I have spoken about antisemitism a lot lately, most recently on my radio show with Rev. Kathleen McAdams and Rev. Eric Cherry, “A Priest, a Minister, and a Rabbi Walk Into a Radio Station.”  You can hear what I and the other participants had to say by listening to the show on Franklin Public Radio, WPFR, or checking out the podcast when it is available (which will be soon).

I serve on a group started this year called the Franklin Freedom Team, which is designed to address hate and bias concerns before they boil over.  Among the members of the Team are School Superintendent Dr. Sara Ahern and Police Chief T.J. Lynch.  Both have reached out to our community through me.  Dr. Ahern spoke this morning to the High School assembly and made her intolerance of this intolerance plain.  She also is developing plans to get ahead of these incidents in the future, and members of the Team have given her their input on her initial suggestions.  Chief Lynch assured me that the Police Department is investigating this matter thoroughly.

For anyone with children in Franklin High School, please know that I am ready to speak with them about their experiences if that would be of help to them.  And please let other students who are not in our Temple community know that I am here for them as well.

I know that antisemitism does not disappear and must be confronted regularly.  But I also believe, as I have since I arrived in Franklin, that this is a good community that welcomes us.  Let us hold both truths close to us, that we may struggle for justice but never despair of our fellow human beings.

Shabbat shalom.
Rabbi Tom Alpert"

Shared from Facebook: 

“A Priest, a Minister, and a Rabbi Walk Into a Radio Station”
“A Priest, a Minister, and a Rabbi Walk Into a Radio Station”

Friday, June 11, 2021

Letter from Principal Hanna regarding incident at FHS

Sharing a letter from Mr. Hanna regarding an incident at FHS:


Dear Franklin High School Community,

I am deeply saddened to inform you that late in the school day yesterday, graffiti depicting swastikas was found in a 3rd Floor Boys Bathroom.   The graffiti was promptly removed and an investigation was immediately initiated.   In addition,  I contacted the Franklin Police Department, and we are providing full cooperation and assistance to them.  As soon as our investigation is concluded and if we are able to identify the person(s) responsible, we will follow up with disciplinary consequences and education as set out in the Franklin High School Handbook.    We will also take appropriate steps to remedy the negative impact of these acts on the school community and restore a sense of safety and support for all.  

The fact that the swastika graffiti was found at Franklin High School is far beyond disappointing.  It is extremely troubling and highly inconsistent with the inclusive culture we are committed to creating at Franklin High School.   Franklin High School is no place for hate.   I pledge to you continued vigilance in this matter as well as continued long-term efforts to promote and support a positive, hate-free school environment.  While we believe that the steps we’ve taken this year to address diversity and inclusion have done a great deal to further our school’s mission of being a welcoming and safe school environment, it is clear that we still have a long way to go.  

     To that end, we will be implementing the following initiatives:

  • We will provide an opportunity for students and faculty/staff to gather and meet with an administrator/counseling team to process their feelings in the immediate future, if they wish to do so.  In the meantime, counselors are available to talk to any individual child wishing for support in the current moment.

  • FHS students, faculty, staff, and administrators participate on the district’s  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee that is leading efforts on bringing awareness to and affirmation of diversity within our school community and developing age-appropriate curriculum and discussions to promote a safe and inclusive learning environment for each and every child. This Committee will continue into the 2021-2022 school year and beyond, in order to continue efforts further into the future.

  • I will be addressing the school tomorrow morning before we begin the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance with a reminder of our core values, and how we have no room for hate at Franklin High School.  

Lastly, I’d like to thank the reporter who brought this to our attention.  It takes courage to call out acts of hate and it is a critical part of our growth as a truly safe and inclusive community.   As we move forward from this incident, please know that we are deeply committed to the goals that all students are safe and that all students develop empathy and respect for others.   I will keep you updated on our progress.   


Joshua Hanna

Letter from Principal Hanna regarding incident at FHS
Letter from Principal Hanna regarding incident at FHS

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Toward a More Perfect Union: 2 discussions on racism in Franklin

During the School Committee meeting Tuesday evening, reference was made to the Superintendent and others participating in a discussion about race on the radio show "Toward a More Perfect Union"
Part 1 of the discussion revolved around a follow up to the video of students recorded in November 2020.  (Direct link to the video referenced
Part 2 of the discussion features Supt. Sara Ahern, Asst Supt. Lucas Giguere, Denise Spencer, Cobi Frongillo, Angelina Perez, and Ndoumbe Ndoye in addition to the regular panel.
  • Listen to the Part 1 of the discussion on race
  • Listen to the Part 2 of the discussion on race

The regular panel of "Toward a More Perfect Union" :host - Frank Falvey, joined by Pete Fasciano, State Rep Jeff Roy, Dr Michael Walker Jones, and Dr Natalia Linos.

Toward a More Perfect Union: 2 discussions on racism in Franklin
Toward a More Perfect Union: 2 discussions on racism in Franklin

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Franklin Area Moms: Lessons for Littles - Jun 6 at 3 PM

Please click on the link above to access the live stream on Sunday, June 6 at 3 PM. The video will also be available on the Franklin Area Moms public Facebook page. You will be able to ask questions through the live stream. Cobi Frongillo, the moderator for the event, will get through as many of the questions as the panel is able to during the event.
*Don't forget, Franklin TV and several other local access TV stations will be airing the event as well!"

Lessons for Littles - June 6, 3:00 PM
Lessons for Littles - June 6, 3:00 PM

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Lessons for Littles - June 6, 3:00 PM

Join Us for an Expert Panel Discussion on Racism for Parents of Young Children 

SUNDAY, JUNE 6  = 3:00–4:00 PM
Franklin Town Common & Virtual

How do you navigate conversations with your young children about topics such as race, diversity, inclusion and equity?

Join this free community event to learn from our panel of local experts when and how to have these important conversations with young children (0–8 years). Together, we can learn to raise kind, inclusive children who will know better and do better.

View & Share Event on Facebook =

Attend in-person at the Franklin Town Common or virtually. 

For a reminder email and information on connecting to the event virtually, please fill out the form =>

Presented by Franklin Area Moms and Franklin Area Against Racism.

Lessons for Littles - June 6, 3:00 PM
Lessons for Littles - June 6, 3:00 PM


Friday, March 26, 2021

Commonwealth Magazine: "Duxbury Dragons and death camps"


"Almost more shocking than the news of Duxbury High School’s football team using terms like “rabbi” and “Auschwitz” for its line-of-scrimmage audible play calling is the fact that it apparently was not a new thing. 

The Boston Herald reports that “the use of anti-Semitic and other offensive language by Duxbury players and under the purview of the coaching staff has been going on for multiple years.” Yet nothing had been done to stop the practice of teenage quarterbacks barking out the name of a death camp where 1 million Jews were slaughtered until officials from Plymouth North High School blew the whistle following their team’s March 12 game against the Dragons."

Continue reading the article online

Boston Herald article on Duxbury

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Statement on Anti-Asian Racism from Superintendent Dr. Sara Ahern

March 24, 2021 

Dear Franklin Community, 

Last night, during the School Committee meeting, we observed a moment of silence as a result of the horrific event last Tuesday in Atlanta where eight people lost their lives in a violent mass shooting. Seven of the eight victims were of Asian heritage and were targeted because of their race. The Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has been targeted in the last year because of the hateful stereotyping which blames the AAPI community for the Coronavirus. We acknowledge, as well, that this is part of a longer, painful history of discrimination. We extend our support to all AAPI faculty/staff members and families in our community and across the nation. 

We remain committed to honoring and protecting the rights and dignity of all members of our community. As leaders of the Franklin Public Schools, we denounce racism and embrace anti-racist actions. We want to make you aware of the following opportunity. On Thursday, March 25, the Asian American Commission of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be holding a virtual town hall on Anti-Asian Racism: 

Last June, we wrote, “Franklin Public Schools remains resolute in its enduring commitment to inclusive and equitable schools. Despite our greatest efforts, we are not immune to incidents of hate and bias. The painful incidents we have also experienced in our community are an affront to our core values. We will not tolerate, accept or condone acts or speech that are hateful, racist, anti-semitic, xenophobic, homophobic, or gender-biased.” 

Since June, we have established the Franklin Public Schools Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (D, E, I) Committee composed of students, staff, and administrators from the district, totaling nearly sixty members. This committee is addressing our actions, policies, curriculum, instruction, activities, professional development, and other systems to ensure they are without implicit bias and promote equity and respect for all. This year, the Franklin Public Schools staff engaged in a series of professional development workshops focused on cultural proficiency and practical tools on speaking up against bias and addressing acts of bias in the moment. 

We are committed to this work in the future. The proposed FY 22 budget includes funding for the D, E, I Committee’s ongoing work, funding to support an Equity Audit to identify areas of growth for our district, and resources and materials for more culturally proficient literature for our school and classroom libraries. Franklin Public Schools is also proud to join invested community members as part of the Franklin Freedom Team, whose mission is to preserve freedom through unity in the community. The team is reactive, proactive, and retroactive in assessing and addressing hate and bias in the Town of Franklin.

We also want to provide faculty/staff and families with additional information. Many thanks to the MSAA/MIAA, who shared the resources below (originally compiled by the Lexington Public Schools). 


Sara Ahern, Superintendent of Schools, on behalf of the Franklin Public Schools Leadership Team 


Superintendent Ahern's statement (the listing of resources is found in this copy)

Superintendent Dr. Sara Ahern
Superintendent Dr. Sara Ahern in a recent School Committee meeting

MA State News: Gov Baker no mandate now for vaccinations; Duxbury football coach fired

"Baker not interested in vaccine mandates – for now"

"GOV. CHARLIE BAKER isn’t interested in requiring public-facing employees to get vaccinated, at least right now. And he’s got a problem with public officials who use their position to cut the vaccine line.

In an interview Wednesday on the Boston Public Radio show, Baker said he wouldn’t favor a mandate requiring members of the State Police, correctional officers, nursing home workers and other public-facing employees to be vaccinated in order to perform their duties.

“I don’t think you should put somebody in a position where they have to choose between a vaccine that they may be very concerned about taking for some very good reasons and their jobs, at least at this point in the process,” Baker said. “I want to concentrate on getting people vaccinated first.”

Continue reading the article online

"Duxbury football coach fired over team’s use of anti-Semitic terms in recent game"
"The longtime head coach of the Duxbury High School football team, Dave Maimaron, was fired Wednesday, as the fallout widened from disclosures that his players used Holocaust-related language and Jewish words to call plays during a recent game.

The school’s upcoming game against Hingham was also canceled, along with upcoming junior varsity and freshman games, and the Duxbury school district hired an outside investigator to examine what happened. It’s unclear if or when the team’s season will resume.

“We want to be perfectly clear that we recognize how serious this is, and it is getting our undivided attention,” said Superintendent John Antonucci in a letter to the community announcing the district’s response."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Community Conversation on Police Reform - March 24, 2021

Franklin Area Against Racism (FAAR) is hosting a Community Conversation on Police Reform.

When: Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 7:00 PM

  • Senator Becca Rausch
  • Representative Jeff Roy 
  • Franklin Police Dept. Chief Thomas J. Lynch
  • Franklin Police Dept. Deputy Chief James Mill
  • and other community leaders

More details, including the Zoom link, in the image below.

Community Conversation - Agenda:


 Introductions by FAAR and moderators



-         Up to 10 minutes: What is in “An Act Relative to Justice, Equity and Accountability in Law Enforcement in the Commonwealth”, and what change does it make? Why was this bill necessary/what were you hearing from your constituents?

-         Legislators (Sen Rausch, Rep Roy)


-         Up to 10 minutes: What has your department done to date?

How will this bill impact Franklin?

-         Chief Lynch, Deputy Chief Mill


-         Tentative: Taking inventory, where are we now? What are possible next steps?

-         Community Advocate


 Moderated Discussion (all participants)


 Community Q&A




Community Conversation on Police Reform - March 24, 2021
Community Conversation on Police Reform - March 24, 2021