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This is one of the most assinine and tone deaf things you’ll read today out of Lunenburg…
WBZ: The field house bearing A.J. Robbins’ name welcomes athletes to Lunenburg High, but A.J.’s family now feels pushed away.
“I don’t even have words to tell you what I am feeling right now. It’s disgusting. It is just ignorant – that’s the only word I can think of. It is just really ignorant is that someone would do something like that,” said Scott Robbins, A.J.’s father.
In 2016, during the summer following graduation, A.J. was in a car with a drunk driver. He was killed when they crashed.
“They all loved A.J. A.J. was loved by everybody,” said Scott Robbins.
When the fieldhouse opened in August to a few weeks ago, A.J.’s football jersey hung inside. It’s now in Scott Robbins’ possession. He found the jersey on a table. It had been taken down with no explanation.
“The way they handled it. It was unprofessional and lacked compassion,” said Carol Robbins, A.J.’s mother.
The community raised money and volunteered to build the field house in A.J.’s name. The school committee says it doesn’t mean his jersey automatically gets hung on its walls.
“We didn’t order it taken down,” said School Committee Chair Heather Sroka.
Wednesday night the school committee was expected to vote on a policy that would not allow the jersey hung. A previous proposed memorial at the fieldhouse was nixed over concerns it would make students sad. A.J.’s family and friends filled the room.
“Without really consulting anyone- just felt very disrespectful,” said one student addressing the school committee.
In response to the crowd, the committee scheduled another meeting to discuss if the number 71 jersey will go back up in the fieldhouse named for A.J. To Scott Robbins putting the jersey back on the wall means everything. “Everything, that’s what I want and know that what he wants to. I just want them to do the right thing,” Carol Robbins said.
Wait…..what?? Am I missing something here? This can’t be real. As you can see from the AJ Robbins Memorial Fieldhouse Facebook page, this was a real community effort. It looks like volunteers build this thing from scratch like the Amish.
There was a ribbon cutting
And a balloon send off
The whole nine yards. And yes, his jersey was a part of that:
Which doesn’t surprise me because Lunenburg is a great town that you’d be lucky to live in.
So….what’s the problem here? The fieldhouse will still be named after him. But according to the School Committee it “
doesn’t mean his jersey automatically gets hung on its walls.”
Huh? You’ll name the fieldhouse after him, but you won’t put his jersey inside of it? Why wouldn’t you hang his jersey? What could possibly be the rationale behind that? Oh right….
A previous proposed memorial at the fieldhouse was nixed over concerns it would make students sad.
Muh feelz!! It will make people sad. Ya got that? The death of an 18 year old will make people sad, therefore we have to pretend like his death never happened.
Ya know who else is probably saddened every time they think about that jersey? AJ’s family.
They are literally the ONLY people who matter when it coms to this topic. If they want the jersey down then take it down. If they want it up, put it up. End of story. This is like the simplest PR move in history.
But instead they’re going out of their way to cause unnecessary grief to an already grief stricken family. How demented and twisted do you have to be in order to do that?
This is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen, and I can’t help but feel like I’m missing something. If this is the entire story, that they’re not putting up a kid’s jersey who the fieldhouse is named after because it will make people sad, anyone who had ANYTHING to do with that decision making should just resign in disgrace.
This is the part I don’t get:
“We didn’t order it taken down,” said School Committee Chair Heather Sroka.
OK then. If you didn’t order it taken down then just put it back up. After all, that’s where it was before. You’re not doing something new, you’re just returning something to the way it was supposed to be.
That school committee member in the back clearly has run out of fucks to give about what the community has to say about this matter.
Fox 25 News has a more complete version of the story (take notes Fox 25 – this is called “citing a source” – feel free to try it next time you steal a story from us):
A.J. Robbins’ friends and family raised thousands of dollars to help get the building operational. When it was dedicated his jersey was hung up inside.
Recently however, the family says that jersey was taken down and now the school committee is considering regulations to prevent someone from naming a building long-term.
“I couldn’t believe it. Then I was asking questions, called the principal, called the athletic director, nobody seemed to know anything, and then I talked to the superintendent the other day and she told me that their policy was nothing was supposed to be hung on walls,” Scott Robbins, A.J.’s father, said.
The school committee is reworking its policy, proposing an amendment that states in part: “As places designed primarily to support learning, school sites and facilities should not serve as the main venue for permanent memorials.”
At a meeting Wednesday night, members of the committee couldn’t answer questions from concerned residents or the Robbins family.
Scott Robbins walked out during the meeting disappointed. His friend who undertook the project to build the field house in A.J.’s name was outraged.
“I did it for the town, I did it for the kids. This just further emphasizes to me why I like kids so much more than adults,” Bill Iannacci said.
The school committee decided to discuss the issue at a subcommittee meeting on April 11. The Robbins said they’ll be there for their son.
So let me get this straight. The school system allowed them to take out the permits for this privately financed fieldhouse to be built. This guy Bill volunteers his labor to support a family in the community who has gone through an unspeakable tragedy. They build it. They dedicate it in his name. They put his name on the building.
But now the School Committee is going out of their way to create a policy that doesn’t allow naming buildings after people because schools are there to “support learning??””
What the hell is wrong with these people? Will people in next door Fitchburg change the Grutchfield Fieldhouse and Crocker Field because those guys are dead? Will neighboring Townsend be forced to change the name of their town because Charles Townsend is dead? Somehow naming buildings after the deceased will conflict with the school’s mission of supporting learning?
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE????
God this is infuriating. I swear, in 99% of towns in this state the DUMBEST five or six people in town always end up on the School Committee. There’s no reason for this policy to be put into place. And it’s a direct attack on this grieving family. At the very least, grandfather them in. The building had already been named after them. Jesus H. Christ, I thought the Red Sox were bad for caving to PC culture and renaming Yawkey Way. But at least they have an argument. This is just insanity.
Then there’s the Superintendent – Loxi Jo Calmes:
Oh great, a ginger. Now we’re in trouble.
This was her reasoning for the jersey being taken down:
“She told me that their policy was nothing was supposed to be hung on walls.”
What kid of stupid policy is that? Lunuburg is officially a bare wall town? This is the hill they’re gonna die on? This is the line that cannot be crossed? No framed things on the wall?
What an incompetent moron. Of course it’s hardly surprising considering her unprofessional and contemptible history with Lunenberg football:
Remember that? Five years ago a Lunenburg football player’s parents claimed that his teammates had written racial slurs on the side of their home:
There were candle light vigils, civil rights groups came to town, and the FBI was stationed at their house. Instead of waiting for the investigation to be completed the School Committee and superintendent voted to cancel the rest of the football season, meaning seniors could not play in their final Thanksgiving Day football match.
And as it turned out the kid’s mother was the one who spray painted those racial slurs on the house.
She forgot to get rid of the spray cans she used, which were sitting in her front yard. And the entire thing was just a scam to get their kid into Leominster High School, which has a much larger and more prestigious football program.
But by then the damage was done. By canceling the season the superintendent and SC were sending the message loud and clear – this was a legitimate hate crime and the entire team will be punished for it. The town will forever be marred by this. The mob had made their minds up, and they don’t read the followup story. Meanwhile, the kid got to stay at Leominster so the school committee and superintendent sent the message loud and clear – you will be rewarded for fake hate crimes, and punished for doing nothing wrong.
And instead of just admitting that she completely fucked up, “Loxi” doubled down:
“The reason for the meeting was to begin to think about the pathway forward as a community in unity,” she said. “These representatives told us that what our school and community had experienced was unprecedented. They had an opportunity to look at our curriculum, methodology, pedagogy and commended us for the work already firmly in place to promote respect, tolerance and appreciation of diversity. They also told us that we had done not only the right things, but we had done the work thoughtfully, with input from a variety of perspectives and with sensitivity.”
“But it did and my role as superintendent has been to investigate and resolve the situation. The fact that our district is subject to investigations of racial discrimination and civil rights violations that require the attention of the governor, commissioner of education, the attorney general’s Civil Rights Office and Department of Justice is beyond belief. Throughout this investigation it has been my responsibility to manage multiple personalities and groups. Every decision I made has been based on what was in the best interest and safety of players and students.”
Gutless. Meaningless buzzword drivel from a woman who simply doesn’t have it in here to apologize and admit how badly she fucked that one up.
Did I mention how infuriating this is that this overpaid hack gets to make judgement calls like this?
This family has two other boys that look like they’ll be coming through LHS. If they end up playing football then I would imagine this would mean a great deal to the family to go to the games and see their oldest son’s jersey there, and know that they are loved and supported in their community.
Here’s the phone number for Loxi Joe Calmes:
Fell free to give her the David Hogg-Laura Ingraham treatment.
Here’s how you can contact their GUTLESS School Committee, who attacked the football team five years ago, and is now attacking a grieving family:
Heather Sroka: [email protected]
Meredith Weiss: [email protected]
Jim Laveck: [email protected]
Wendy Bertrand: [email protected]
Carol Archambault: firstname.lastname@example.org