Massachusetts

NAACP, attorney general investigate allegations of racism within Danvers High School hockey team

DANVERS, Mass. — Friday morning, the North Shore NAACP will hold a virtual news conference to talk about the racist and homophobic allegations swirling among the Danvers High School hockey team. Meantime, the attorney general’s office announced it is also investigating what happened off the ice during the 2019-2020 season and how the school responded.

The NAACP put together a report of recommendations to share with the town. The NAACP claims it found proof of rituals that promoted racism, homophobia and antisemitism within the boys hockey team.

This allegedly happened during the 2019-2020 season under the supervision of former hockey coach Stephen Baldassare, who is also a police sergeant and still oversees the school resource officers. The NAACP addressed the town’s human rights and inclusion committee last night.

“Please imagine your child was abused at school, was taunted with direct pictures of racist violence and then discovering that the very authority figure charged with supporting them was denying the abuse and failed to act,” said Branch President

A police investigation into the matter resulted in no charges, the coach was not disciplined, but he did resign last June.

Some of the NAACP’s recommendations include tweaking the hiring process, rebuilding trust in the community by removing Baldassare, owning up to the communication mistakes and offering further training to police officers.