NEW ROCHELLE, NY –WPIX reported Tony Humphrey, a 16-year old (former) student and baseball player committed to play for Boston College, left Iona Prep after a (former) assistant athletic director questioned why Humphrey was participating in track. The administrator said “It never hurts to gain speed” but he was already fast enough because he “gained that speed by running from the police.”
Humphrey identified (former) Assistant Director of Athletics Bernard Mahoney as the administrator who made the remark.
Iona Prep students staged a walkout protest in support of Humphrey
Iona Prep issued a statement:
Over the weekend, Iona Preparatory School was informed of a racially connotative and insensitive comment made by one of its employees to a student.
Such comments go against the very mission of the school to develop “moral and ethical leaders,” as well as the Essential Element of an Edmund Rice Christian Brother Education to “celebrate the value and dignity of each person.” It is behavior that Iona Preparatory does not condone for its students and will not accept from its faculty and staff.
“A number of people are angry and upset today, and I am one of them. One of the most important aspects of our school community—the acceptance and respect of every student—has been infringed upon,” Iona Preparatory School President Brother Thomas R. Leto, Ed.D., said in a statement. “On behalf of the administration and staff, I am deeply sorry to this student and those most offended and negatively impacted.”
Following a school-wide prayer service Tuesday morning, the president addressed the entire student body. Brother Leto said that as soon as the incident was reported on Friday, the school launched an investigation, noting that the employee has since resigned. He then went outside to address some of the student’s friends and classmates, who had gathered in solidarity. Following a prayer, Brother Leto addressed the concerns of student leaders before those students returned to class. He said the school remains actively engaged in a multilevel program to address systemic racism and raise awareness of such challenging issues.
“Despite all we have undertaken, including a recent three-week respect campaign, there is much work to be done, as such conduct and comments cannot be tolerated any longer,” Brother Leto said. “We remain fully committed to being an open, welcoming, embracing and nurturing community, where every young man holds a special place in the brotherhood of Iona men.”