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Deep in a ‘liberal enclave’: Homophobia unaddressed in Amherst schools

Shown in a screenshot, Lucia Lopez, a reporter for the high school newspaper The Graphic, spoke at a meeting of the Amherst Regional School Committee in May about their story on the culture of the middle school.Amherst Regional School Committee

I’m grateful for the Globe’s coverage of the issues of homophobia and antitransgender bullying at Amherst Regional Middle School, specifically highlighting the student journalists with the high school newspaper The Graphic and their teacher (“Article by teens cites bias, forces shake-up,” Page A1, July 5). However, one line in the Globe article concerned me: “The events have shocked and shaken this college town — long considered an LGBTQ-friendly, liberal enclave.”

These events may shock people who haven’t paid attention, but people in marginalized groups understand that these issues are systemic, and they are not new to this district. I pulled my child from the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools a decade ago, partly due to unaddressed racism, bullying, and homophobia.


Instead of creating a narrative that Amherst is a “liberal enclave,” I’d ask journalists to investigate further into toxic behavior and ineffective leadership in the school system. For example, why isn’t the School Committee addressing the staff’s “overwhelming” vote of no confidence in the school administration?

Ali Wicks-Lim