Federal investigators meet with Boston Latin Students

BOSTON (WHDH) - Federal investigators met with students on Wednesday to discuss allegations of racism at Boston Latin School.

The meeting comes one day after headmaster Dr. Lynne Mooney Teta resigned, and several months after an internal investigation was conducted following allegations of racism at the school.

Sophomore Emeka Ihionu said he and other students feel there are racial problems at the school, but that Teta did not deserve all of the blame.

“You can’t 100% blame the headmaster because she by herself can’t fix everything,” he said. “It takes the whole school working together.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office launched an investigation into the Boston Latin School after receiving complaints of alleged racial harassment and discrimination.

Eight civil rights organizations and other community members filed a complaint with the US Attorney’s Office about racial concerns at the school.

In a letter sent home to students and staff in February, Mooney Teta said she was sorry for not acting earlier:

“While I am optimistic that the dialogues begun over the past few weeks will lead to a more respectful and welcoming racial climate at our school, I deeply regret that we did not begin such conversations earlier.”

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh released a statement Tuesday:

“I thank Lynne Mooney Teta for her nine years of dedication as headmaster of Boston Latin School, and I wish her the best of luck in the future. I will work with Superintendent Chang to identify the next BLS headmaster to carry on the school’s tradition of academic excellence, while creating a welcoming environment for all.”

The internal review of the school stated they did not properly respond to a student’s racial slur in one reported incident.

The review came after two students started a social media campaign using the hashtag #BlackatBLS to raise awareness to what they believe was the school’s failure to address racism.

The district released its findings after looking at racial incidents dating from 2004 to Jan. 2016. In total there were seven incidents reported, and only one where the school was accused of not adequately investigating.

On Tuesday, the school released the Teta’s resignation letter. In it, she said she believed it was in the best interest of the students and faculty that she resign.

“We have faced challenges this year and I have been greatly encouraged by the commitment of students, faculty, families and alumni to work together to collaboratively address issues of racism and discrimination in our community,” Teta said in the letter.

Superintendent Chang also released a statement, saying, “In recent months, several students bravely shined a light on the issue of cultural proficiency at BLS, illuminating a problem that exists not only at this school but across our city and country.”

Since Friday, investigators have been at the school, trying to meet with students to learn more about the allegations.

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