Lunenburg School Committee to consider memorial for student-athlete

LUNENBURG, Mass. -- Nearly two years after a local teen was killed in a drunk driving crash, his family is fighting to hang his football jersey in the athletic building that bears his name.

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.

“If he was down here and someone else was up there, he would be fighting it like I am right now, so that’s why I’m doing it,” Scott Robbins said.