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Lunenburg student's cleats filled with water, placed in trash

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LUNENBURG, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- After the Lunenburg Thanksgiving Day football game was canceled due to racist graffiti found on a student's home, the superintendent has released additional information regarding other recent incidents that occurred at the school.

According to the Lunenburg Public Schools website, there was in an investigation, completed by the high school principal, into an allegation that a student athlete's football cleats were filled with water and put in the trash in September. The student was interviewed as well as members of the football team. There was no indication that this incident was sparked by racism, the website said. The principal notified the coach of the football team who spoke to the players about what happened.

Additionally; a student found the tires of his bicycle flattened. The bicycle was parked outside of the school. Security cameras were reviewed and showed that no one tampered with the bicycle. Based on those findings, no further action was taken. The school principal checked in with the student several times, but the student did not provide any additional information and indicated that he was not having any problems with other students.

Another investigation involved racially insensitive language used by football players during two football games against Worcester South High School, one Varsity game on Nov. 1 and a Junior Varsity game on Nov. 4. During the game on Nov. 1, a Worcester coach reported to a referee that a Lunenburg player used racist language toward a Worcester player during the game. The referee questioned the Lunenburg player, and believed that he did not make the remark. On Nov. 4, referees ended the game due to a fight between players. The referees reported that racially insensitive language was used by the Lunenburg players, according to the website. Both teams' athletic directors discussed the incident and students and coaches were interviewed. Both schools' principals were also involved in the investigation.

According to the website, the graffiti incident took place on Nov. 15 and "took precedence" over the investigation into the fight. However, students and coaches were eventually re-interviewed this past Monday and Wednesday regarding both the game and graffiti incidents.

"Even when the investigation is complete, we will not be able to release identifying information or specific disciplinary consequences regarding students as that information is protected by state and federal law," Superintendent Calmes said on the website.

On Nov. 15, the racist graffiti incident was reported to the assistant principal of the high school by the Lunenburg Police. The principal reported the incident to the superintendent and the coaches, who collaboratively made the decision to cancel the football game. The police investigation regarding the racial graffiti is ongoing.

A fourth investigation involved allegations that a student was being harassed based on race by members of the football team. The parents of the student targeted reported via the media that their son was being bullied and harassed by football players. His parents told school officials that they were unaware of the bullying prior to Friday, Nov. 15. An investigation within the high school is ongoing.

"We have a problem and it needs to be addressed. First we need to complete the pending investigations and take appropriate action based upon the evidence. Then we need to figure out how to move forward," Calmes said on the website.

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